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UAAM poetry night brings culture to Tech students

October 31, 2013

 

JOHN SADLER
Staff Reporter

 

Halfway through his poem, Wiliam Washington’s microphone went out. Amid cheers of “You’ve got it, Will,” and “Keep going, man,” Washington kept going on with the strength of his voice alone.

 

Taqi Mustafaa uses a cellphone as a  nontraditional medium to recite poetry at the annual UAAM poetry night. - Photo by Kayla Frith

Taqi Mustafaa uses a cellphone as a nontraditional medium to recite poetry at the annual UAAM poetry night. – Photo by Kayla Frith

When he left the stage, the audience stood and snapped their fingers.

 

These were just some of the events at the United African American Men’s annual poetry night last Wednesday.

 

Poetry night is an event that brings students to both watch and perform their own pieces.

 

“UAAM is famous on campus for its poetry nights. No other organization will even try to do one,” said D’Andre Lee, a graphic design sophomore and the supervisor of poetry night.

 

Lee said the events in the past have drawn people from outside of Tech, and he expects the trend to continue.

 

“We don’t discriminate. If you’re from Grambling, and you want to come perform or watch, we’re more than happy to have you,” he said.

 

Lee said the event brings culture to the Tech campus and student body.

 

“Our organization is about service, giving back, and uplift,” he said. “Not just for the African-American community, but for everyone. Poetry night gives all these students the chance to get a little display of the arts.”

 

Ephraim Fields, the UAAM president, said the student body appreciates the event and its artistic value.

 

“The audience always loves it,” he said. “The topics that are spoken about are always very diverse so everybody can find something they can relate to.”

 

Fields said the poetry night is a cathartic event for some of its participants.

 

“I think a lot of people use it as a form of venting or expression,” he said. “It can be reflective of very personal struggles.”

 

Washington, a freshman business management major, said that he agreed that reciting a poem could act as a release, due to the personal feelings contained in them.

 

“Poetry isn’t like music,” he said. “It doesn’t rely on a beat. It’s free-flowing. It lets the writer speak what is on his mind.”

 

Washington said he was ecstatic when he found out about the event in time to perform.

 

“I went to the UAAM barbeque and they told me about it and I immediately wanted to come,” he said. “This isn’t my first time. I’ve been performing my poetry for a while now.”

 

Other speakers shared his excitement, including Taqi Mustafaa, a senior sociology major.

 

“Poetry is one of my passions,” said Mustafaa. “It’s a simple thing, and it can have so much impact on your life.”

 

Mustafaa said poetry is important because it can lend new meaning to words used in everyday life.

 

“The things you say and mean should be sacred to you,” he said. “Poetry gives you great experience in that. It helps you pick the right words.”

 

Email comments to jts040@latech.edu.

 

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