Students have just returned from a week in the Bay Area, where we worked with numerous social justice organizations and activists as part of our combined Peace Studies and Global Issues trip. We'll be posting students' reflections on the trip over the next few days. To kick us off, student Lillian Karl writes about attending the Berkeley Poetry Slam:
After a day of being cooped up inside the beautiful Truebloods house, we were set free into the wonderful Berkeley atmosphere on Wednesday night of our Peace Studies trip. My car, nicknamed “Big Sug” traveled through the streets blasting Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga” until we reached our destination, the Berkeley Poetry Slam.
As we waited outside of the doors, we sang, danced, and even spit a few rhymes. When all the cars arrived, we entered the welcoming warmth of the Starry Plough. My body instantly felt at home. The small Pub was packed with laughing people and had that coffee house vibe to it, where everyone seemed to be content and ready to have a good time. The air was filled with mouth watering smells and soft orange light. I settled into a floor snuggle puddle in the front row and prepared myself for a great show.
I was not disappointed. Poet after poet, walked on the the stage and delivered fantastic work. They alternated between funny, sad, political, and everything in between. Each poet had a different voice and gave a little bit of themselves to the audience. The poets didn’t just read their poems; they performed them. Thier words flowed through the air painting visions in my head that made me step back and really think about the issues they were discussing. Some artists let their bodies become their words as they moved in an almost dance-like way. The poets represented a large range of our society and came from every background imaginable. Among them was even my own roommate, AJ!
When it was time to go, I almost refused to get up because I wanted to watched the rest of the poets perform. However, as we walked out of the doors we were greeted by several of the poets, including the featured artist Javon JohnSon and a beautiful individual named Ahlaam. We talked to them for a while and even got a few extra performances. Overall, it was a wonderful night that made me laugh, tear up, and think hard. It really made me feel at home and hopefully gave a taste of what the Bay Area (my hometown) has to offer to the rest of the students.