PAECE gives outlet for students to share stories


Cassie Buchman

Jarvis Buchanan, a junior English major, and Keyana Latimore, a sophomore sociology major sing a cover of Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” on Tuesday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr University Union.

Torri Griffith, Staff Reporter

With performances ranging from spoken word and poetry to rap, the group Performing Arts for Effective Civic Education hosted “Tell a Story: A Night of Expressions” Tuesday in the Grand Ballroom in the Martian Luther King Jr. University Union.

Opening with soft subtle music, PAECE secretary Hillary Fuller recited a poem.

In the poem, written by Fuller, she speaks of a robustly confident woman.

This woman then meets a man, who expects her to lessen who she is to suit his views of how she should act.

“Strong, strange, beautiful woman” Fuller said. “Not everyone knows how to love you.”

Tiyaji Williams, president of PAECE, said this event was for everyone to express themselves in different ways.

Williams also had a story, which she shared with the audience.

“When I was 16 I was kicked out of my home for being a lesbian,” Williams said.

She said she was homeless living from place to place during high school and some of her college career.

“I started wearing makeup and doing makeup because I painted on my face that I was happy,” Williams said.

Williams also said people became so focused on her looks and her being pretty, they did not notice that she was going through so much on her own.

“I put on this event to show that everyone has a story,” Williams said. “I wanted to give people a chance to express themselves through their talents.”

Andrea Wolford, a senior sociology major, read a poem about her being a mother at a young age.

Wolford’s poem was called “A Letter After Looking Back.”

In this poem she spoke about leaving college at 19 to take care of her child.

Wolford said during her pregnancy, she was left to be a single mother because the father walked out on her and her child.

“Society labeled me as a single, African-American woman with a child and only a high school education” Wolford said.

Wolford spoke emotionally the things she has experienced with her child as a mom, and she spoke about the obstacles she overcame since his birth.

“The outcome for the show was really good,” Williams said. “ I did not expect this many people to come and support the event.

Delta Phi Delta dance fraternity gave a group dialogue for the event titled “I Too Overcame This.”

In this dialogue, the members of the dance fraternity spoke about the different things they struggled with and had to overcome.

During their dialogue they repeated the saying “I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.”

Shaniyah Mayes, a sophomore psychology major, spoke about overcoming a struggle and growing up giving, without having much.

“You have to have, to be able to give,” Mayes said.

There was also song mash-up during the show.

Keyana Latimer, a sophomore sociology major, gave a mash up of songs ranging from John Legand’s “Ordinary People,” to Beyoncé’s “Halo.”

Kevin Greaves, a junior physics major, read a poem titled “Who Am I.”

In his poem he spoke about not taking interest in worldly things.

“I may be a member of this world, but I am not enslaved,” Greaves said.

Mayes took the stage for a second time with a poem titled “I’m Sick Of It.”

In this piece, she took a more aggressive approach while speaking.

She spoke of African-Americans originating from pyramids and thrones, and how many people have forgotten about it and live their lives much differently now.

In her poem, she said many are addicted to social media and phones, which distracts people from the things going on around them.

“We are cursed with the privilege of being too free,” Mayes said.

At the end of the show, Williams invited many people from the audience to come up and express themselves through their talents.

“When people volunteered it really made me happy because they wanted to express themselves too” Williams said.

Williams said she is happy about her first show being a success.

“People are different, not only in colors but in stories,” Williams said. “Everybody has something different to say and everyone needs to tell their story.”

Torri Griffith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]