Inspired by poet Langston Hughes, people shared poetry and songs Wednesday night for African-American Heritage Month.
Hughes is known for being among the first to use jazz rhythms and dialect to depict the life of urban black people in his work.
He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Eastern’s chapter of Omega Psi Phi hosted the poetry bash, which started with a spoken word piece by soul and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, titled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
Heron was known for being influenced by the Black Arts Movement, which started in 1900s Harlem.
Admissions counselor Omar Solomon interpreted the poem by saying it relates to what is currently going on in America.
He said black people are still going through a revolution.
“A lot of artists use poetry to express their thoughts and feelings about what is going on in the world today,” Solomon said.
He then recited two pieces by Langston Hughes, one being “Theme For English B.”
“Being me, it will not be white. But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white—yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That’s American,” Solomon recited.
Solomon also recited Hughes’ poem “I, Too” which discusses equality.
“I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes. But I laugh and eat well and grow strong. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table when company comes. Nobody’ll dare say to me, ‘Eat in the kitchen’ then,” Solomon recited.
Brandon Hightower, member of Omega Psi Phi, shared his own personal poem with the audience.
“You don’t see them, but they’re still there. They might not be in your line of vision. You try to ignore it and think of everything but them and tell yourself you don’t care. Then when you’re alone, you can’t think of anything but them, and it’s like they’re right there,” Hightower read.
Hightower said his poem “Think Back” was inspired by hip-hop artist J. Cole.
“I always feel like as you get older, you get better and you think about all of the things you had to let go to become who you are,” Hightower said. “That’s what I thought about when I wrote this poem.”
Devon Davis, a freshman business major, also shared a personal piece with the audience.
“All I have is just a minute, only 60 seconds in it, forced upon me. Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it, but it’s up to me to use it,” Davis recited. “I will suffer if I lose it, give a count if I abuse it, just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.”
Loren Dickson can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]