BSC hosts poetry night

Two+members+of+the+Black+Student+Council+express+themselves+by+performing+poems+in+the+AMU+Brew+Cafe.

Photo by Skyler Chun

Two members of the Black Student Council express themselves by performing poems in the AMU Brew Cafe.

Marquette’s Black Student Council hosted a poetry night event in the Alumni Memorial Union Brew Cafe Feb. 14.

Breanna Flowers, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of the Black Student Council, was one of the primary organizers of this event. 

The poetry night was one of the events that was a part of Black Love Week, a week in February filled with events in honor of Black History Month, which takes place each February. Lazabia Jackson, a sophomore in the College of Communication and vice president of BSC, said the month is a celebration of the accomplishments of black people as well as a tribute to all black people who suffered from oppression in the past.

“I thought (the poetry night) would be something fun and cool to do since it has happened in the past, about two years ago,” Flowers said. “We thought it would be fun to bring it back.”

Jackson helped plan the event and was a performer that night. 

“All year we’ve been trying to do a bunch of smaller events, and it just got to the point where it was like ‘Wow, what else can we do?’” Jackson said. “We brought this in, and (the poetry night) brought just a totally different crowd than what we usually bring in.”

Jackson said he felt the poetry night was a great way for people to share their voices and represent Black History Month.

“So often you get repressed and you don’t feel like you can speak,” Jackson said. “Imagine if we didn’t have this outlet where these men and these women weren’t able to speak their voices or speak their minds. It would just be bottled up or just be lost in the paper or lost in their phone. That’s what black history is all about — creating platforms for people to express themselves.”

He said that expressing themselves has always been a big part of black culture, whether it is through fashion, art or music.

Flowers said BSC also brought in poets from both Marquette and the Milwaukee community to perform.

“They performed original work centered around blackness and love,” Flowers said. “I would say it was a really good and exciting show.”

One group of people invited to share its work was Marquette’s Live Poets Society, a poetry club at Marquette.

Carmen Seda, a junior in the College of Engineering and president of the Live Poets Society, said it was a great experience to be a part of this event.

“I absolutely love doing open mics, and this one was really fun because there was so much energy and there were a lot more people than we usually get at our slams,” Seda said. “It was really cool that they let us hop in on this.”

Most of the poems shared were self-written. Seda shared her poem about relationships.

“It’s definitely scary before you start, when you’re standing up there and you’re getting ready to do it, you’re like, ‘Oh my God, this is a mistake,’” Seda said. “But once everyone is cheering for you, you feel real good.”

“(The night) was all love, and it was reciprocated,” Jackson said. “Everybody was just loving one another.”

It’s not too late to share the love during Black History Month. Some other BSC events that will be hosted in February for Black History Month include Jeopardy: Black History Month edition Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., a Gospel Showcase Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., a Black Women Rock Dinner Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. and a 80s and 90s movie night Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.

This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at skyler.chun@marquette.edu.