BHM Concert and Poetry Readings From Feb. 21

On Sunday, Feb. 21, the Hayes School of Music and the English Department presented another wonderful show of music and poetry celebrating Black History Month.

The evening began with some poetry readings from an App State English major, Oprah Whitfield, who delivered two striking poems by Yusef Iman and Amiri Baraka.

Professor Leon Lewis read the next set of poems, and gave stirring readings of "Dear John, Dear Coltrane" by Michael S. Harper and "A Poem for Black Hearts" by Amiri Baraka. Professor Lewis capped off his section by reading the short and startlingly blunt "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Professor Bruce Dick, who specializes in African American Literature and Studies, read "When I Die I Will Go to Jazz" by Ishmael Reed and "A Small Needful Fact" by Ross Gay, which are both wonderful poems.

In between the poetry readings were some lovely music pieces, including several from a great jazz quartet that got me bobbing my head and tapping my foot.

Myfawny Sierra Hull read us another poem by Gewndolyn Brooks, "The Children of the Poor," in an edited video that included moving images and background music to set the tone.

There's one more concert on Sunday, Feb. 28, where we'll be hearing from Tiffany Green, Leon Lewis, Chris Meade, and our Department Chair, Leonardo Flores.

Written by: Brendan Doering
Image Credit: Hayes School of Music

Oprah Whitfield reading a poem at the Feb. 21 Black History Month Concert
Published: Feb 26, 2021 2:18pm