Poetry Club expresses African-American culture through poems

Black History Month (Spring 2011) (Oliver Yu/Lariat)

Adam Jones

Students rapped and recited poetry in the Quad last Wednesday, in celebration of Black History Month.

Saddleback’s Poetry Club hosted an open mic afternoon Feb. 2 for anyone who wanted to read poetry, rap, or generally appreciate African-American culture for Black History Month.

“Black poetry and culture are awesome parts of our country and our history,” said Poetry Club president Loki Freeman.

He indicated that so many people go through life without ever getting the opportunity to express themselves, and that Black History Month is about the people who expressed themselves in the past.

“We have these events so people can express themselves,” Freeman said.

Members of the poetry club, as well as any passing student, recited poetry from Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and other famous African-American poets.

Some visiting students from Capistrano Valley High School joined in the fun, reciting poetry into the mic, until their teacher called them back to class.

CVHS offers a College and Career class that tours the Saddleback Campus, which is why the high school freshmen were on campus. The high school students were laughing with the performers as they waited for their teachers on benches around the quad.

A number of African-American students joined in on the microphones after the Poetry Club members urged them to do so.

Jamari Williams, who is also known as Young Mari, 18, business, took the mic and free-styled with the assistance of a poetry club member who beat-boxed for him.

He was happy to see the poetry club embracing Black History Month. After some serious encouragement from her friends, Simone Hildreth, 19, fashion design, also took the mic and free-styled for several minutes.

Out of nowhere appeared, Adonte Fountain, 19, communications, who took the mic and rapped and recited poetry for more than half an hour.

Fountain made it clear that it did not matter what color skin someone had, he was just happy to see other cultures embracing his own.

Many students sat and listened between classes, but few chose to join in. Several African American students also listened and laughed with the impromptu performers.

They insisted they were just waiting for football practice, but they laughed and enjoyed themselves just as much as the rest of the crowd.

Black History Month (Spring 2011) (Oliver Yu)