On February 28th, the final Black History Month Concert and Poetry Readings occurred and was lovely to attend. There was also a pre-concert interview with Dr. Willie C. Fleming, Chief Diversity Officer, conducted by Alvin Carlisle, a current App State student. The interview is a great insight into different issues and perspectives on Black History and diversity in America and within Appalachian State University.
Tiffany Green, an ASU student, presented her own poem “As the Sun May Rise Up” which commented on the plight of POC and African Americans in our divided era. The poem was powerful and especially moving when she read,
“Despite the hate within this era
We still rise knowing
Knowing that our strength guides us
Our family ties gives us bonds
Our lovers guide us
So when we rise
As the sun may rise
As it rises in the morning
And goes down in the night
We know where our love resides
And hate makes us closer
While the weakness within some
Can only make us stronger”
Here’s a direct link to Tiffany Green’s performance of “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and of her own poem.
In addition, faculty members and students from the Hayes School of Music performed challenging compositions from H. Leslie Adams, Edward Bland, Evan William, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylors Perkinson and managed to convey all their complexity and energy.
As we look back on the month of February it is important to remember the impacts of these events and the value they brought to the student body and wider discussion. If you missed any, have no fear, as all of the performances were recorded and can be found here.
I’m sure that this event will continue far into the future and will be held annually moving forward. In the meantime, keep up to date with the Department of English’s upcoming and past events and with further performances by the Hayes School of Music.
Written by: Daniel Wartham
Photo Credits: screen captured images taken by Daniel Wartham