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W.R.I.T.E. Poetry’s Through the Looking Glass: A History that Repeats

Photo by Charger Bulletin

Photo by Charger Bulletin

Riley Knebes, Staff Writer

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On Saturday (Feb. 11), W.R.I.T.E Poetry Club hosted their event “Through the Looking Glass: A History that Repeats.” The production was held in the Bucknall Theater and was co-sponsored by Delta Phi Epsilon.

The Liturgical Praise Dance Team and Mime club, Monsoon Dance Team, and Black Student Union also played a part in the performance.

The event brought a smaller turn-out, but with it there was an intimate atmosphere surrounding the performances. Sierrah Smalls, President of W.R.I.T.E. Poetry Club, expressed her gratitude for the intimacy of the night. “I believe with my entire being that Through the Looking Glass was successful with the contributions of our co-sponsors, our amazing performers, and of course, our endless dedication to seek justice for all,” she said.

Through the Looking Glass was a compilation of original poetry, dances, and other performances about black history. The stories of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, as well as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting were all told through various different performances.

Smalls said that the goal of the event was to educate the University’s campus about events that have happened in black history.  “There’s more to black history than slavery and civil rights,” she said.

According to Smalls, Through the Looking Glass had been an idea since last school year, but the performers started writing the script over winter break. W.R.I.T.E opened the performance up to the whole school and invited all who had ideas and wanted to perform to be a part of the process.

Writing the script was a team effort, with each performer taking responsibility to write his or her own part and coming together toward the end to put it all together collectively.

“My favorite part of the even was actually putting this together. Watching everyone collaborate on the script that Sierrah and Shakoyah worked on was truly exceptional. Watching each person under the lights with an audience there to see how much this meant to us was truly a one of a kind experience,” said Jessie Brownstein, Treasurer for W.R.I.T.E. Poetry Club.

Brownstein performed her spoken word poem entitled ‘Picket Fence Protesting’ which was about the sad fact that everyone typically falls victim to white assimilation in order to pretend issues are not important if they are not directly impacting themselves.

The event ended with a final scene, depicting the difference between the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black Panthers. Smalls shared that this was her favorite part of the night because it “showed the difference in the two movements.” “However, it also shows how was as Black people are still striving for the justice we sought in the 1960s,” she continued.

Smalls also shared a touching anecdote about her concern for her brother in this time of heightening police brutality. “I have a little brother who is my entire heart, so I do whatever I can to show him that he is not limited by his skin color/gender,” she explained.

W.R.I.T.E. has two more events to celebrate Black History Month. They will be holding an open mic night on the 22nd in the Alumni Lounge and will also be sponsoring “Hair Talk” on the 28th in Kaplan 107.

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W.R.I.T.E. Poetry’s Through the Looking Glass: A History that Repeats