BSU “Love Jones/ Cafe Jazz”
February 28, 2017
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Co-hosted by W.R.I.T.E. Poetry Club (W.R.I.T.E.) and the Black Student Union (BSU), ‘Love Jones Café Jazz’ allowed students to feel like they were at cafe listening to poetry last Wednesday (Feb. 22) night in the Alumni Lounge. The setup was very informal, as both clubs wanted to make the event feel like a true jazz cafe. There were high tables where students were able to eat and talk to each other, while both R&B and Jazz music played in the background. There was food, mocktails, and a relaxed environment to make those who wanted to participate feel comfortable. In total eight people performed their own pieces. Some rapped, some sang, others just recited their own poetry. Even though the event was part of Black History Month, those who wished to perform could talk about whatever they wanted.
Overall, the turnout was better than expected, and the students in attendance enjoyed their night at a jazz cafe. As people began to perform, their performances were intentionally spaced out, leaving five to six minutes in between, in order to prevent the night from feeling like a showcase. They wanted those in the audience to observe and those who participated to talk to their friends.
“The event was unique by having a more laid back feeling by having jazz music playing during the down time. This kept the atmosphere more chill and allowed the group of people there to be more responsive,” mentioned Jessie Brownstein, the W.R.I.T.E. Poetry treasurer.
Not everyone who performed was in W.R.I.T.E. One graduate student saw the event posted on Instagram and decided to attend. “I am proud that we were able to have the event and I am proud with the success of all the Black History Month events so far,” said Sierrah Smalls, President of W.R.I.T.E. Poetry.
Smalls herself performed two original poems, one about how black men dehumanize black woman, and the other about a victim of sexual assault. Those among the performers also included Damani Piper, W.R.I.T.E Poetry’s Sargent of Arms. He performed a song he wrote two years ago. “I wrote it at a time where I felt as if I was losing a handle on my life. Writing that song along with other songs sort of helped me through that,” he said.
“One thing that sets us apart from other poetry clubs is that we are not just poets, we’re singers, rappers, novelists, story writers, we are writers under the name poetry club,” explained Smalls. Most people don’t know what W.R.I.T.E. stands for: Words Rhyming Into True Expressions.
Brownstein performed a piece entitled “Warning, a Guide to Love.” “The piece is about the first conversation I truly had with the man I am with now. I had warned him to not get too close to me, like a warning label. Evidently, he didn’t listen and now we are together. So I wrote that poem about our dynamic of the last couple of years,” she explained.
Shakoyah Brown, W.R.I.T.E. VP performed and sang with Briana Young. They sang a song entitled, “It Must Hurt.” “I began writing this song in high school, but I collaborated with Briana about two years ago and finished it. The song is about heartbreak and being cheated on by your significant other,” Shakoyah Brown, W.R.I.T.E. Poetry Vice President, went on to explain.
“The event was really great. It was a fun and relaxing environment with good vibes and great talent. We are really happy to put on these events for the campus,” ended Brown.