Author discusses the African-American experience through poetry

Taylor Darks hosted a book talk about her book "Caged: A Poetic Collection of the African American Experience" in Coleman Library on Feb. 27.
Photo credit: Taylor Darks via Twitter @tb_darks 


A sociology student at Florida A&M University enlightened students with “Caged: A Poetic Collection of the African-American Experience,” at a book talk in Coleman Library.

Taylor Darks, the author of Caged, held the book signing and talk on Feb. 27 in Coleman Library, where she read her poems to the audience and discussed the symbolic language in her writing.

Darks, who is also known as T.B. Darks, is on the women basketball team at FAMU and serves as a coordinator for the Pan African Heritage Institute Associate Fellows. Her book is a collective of untold African-American history that is assembled in artistic poetic writing.

Darks envisions herself as an omnipresent spirit who is mentally aware of the agony African-American ancestors went through in the slave trade. The book explores the impact that slavery has had on the African-American community and how it has reformed into modern day.

Darks expressed her thoughts on the psychological self in her book, illustrating the impact slavery has on African-Americans currently.

“We do not have power in America to be racists because we do not have the power to impede in letting a race deplete socio-economically. We need our white counterparts, but they certainly do not need us,” Darks said.

Elijah Shanks, an English student minoring in humanities and a member of the spoken word student organization Voices, said that Darks’ quote affected him significantly. Shanks said that slavery is an ongoing pastime that will never be forgotten.  

“I feel like we are so blind to what we really were and what we come from and what we are now,” Shanks said. “We as black people have to break through these psychological barriers and overcome mental adversity.”

The discussion led to Darks reading one of her prominent poems called “Silk” in part one of the poetic collection. The poem spoke about Africans on the slave ship and how the African mind, African culture and African psyche slowly decayed as slaves were dying on the ship.

The poems Darks shared with the audience impressed some audience members like English student Alicia Bush.

“I was very empowered by the whole event. Just seeing a young person able to express themselves through poetry is very inspiring to me as an English student,” Bush said. “These are the events I want to see on campus, to see young people tailored to communicate themselves so beautifully in art is amazing.”

Darks is dedicated to educating others with her collection of poetry and plans to travel globally spreading the word on the past and present external forces that affect the African-American community today.