BHM Concerts and Poetry Readings: Reflection and Recollection

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. 

Members of our department performed poems by historic voices such as Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, and Rita Dove as well as contemporary poets such as Julian Randall and Tiffany Green. 

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 

Dr. Leonardo Flores, Chis Meade, Leon Lewis, and Tiffany Green
Published: Mar 11, 2021 5:57pm