Campus Life

Poets Speak About African American Culture, Introspection

Artist Penn Davis brought his poetry into the mix at a vocal art show that featured dancing and rap performances on April 11 in Ida Waldron.

The show featured routines from many performers, with host Christian the Comedian telling jokes and introducing which acts would come next.

Christian interacted with the crowd throughout the night, at one point he made jokes about his own weight and how shows he hosts always seem to have someone thinner than him nearby.

Fitting with the show’s theme, the comedian also talked about African American culture, and encouraged African Americans to seek success.

“If you’re black and you want something, go get it,” Christian said. “The system is not for us.”

The performers for the night, using their stage names, were Al Covani, Krisco Pacino, K-Ray, Vallejo, DJ P. Smooth, Tay Dodson, Thatcher Ross and Penn Davis.

Most of the performers did some kind of musical routine, and occasionally they would give a group performance.

At the end of the show, Penn Davis said he spent time trying to decide what he would perform for the show, finally deciding to slow things down with a calm reading.

Much of Davis’s poetry was based around introspection, and the way people treat themselves and others.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” Davis said. “But what does that mean when you don’t treat yourself the way you deserve?”

Throughout the night, Christian the Comedian reminded audience members to mark anything going on social media with #Outthesticks.

Davis said the meaning behind this hashtag came from his decision at a younger age that he needed to get “out of the sticks” where he was living.

When he was growing up, people in their 40’s still had the same way of thinking as when they were 20, and he said he felt the desire to get out and learn to expand his own thinking.

Davis’s last readings of the night focused on the need to be careful not to judge books by their cover when forming relationships with people.

“I’ve seen the ugliest things done by the prettiest people and vice versa,” Davis said.

Davis also used his time to talk about a lack of communication our society has developed, and trying to find a fulfilling relationship.

“Look for somebody who accepts you completely, not somebody who completes you,” Davis said.

Photo by Brandon Jones.

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