In September, acclaimed poet Elizabeth Acevedo gave an inspiring performance at St. Joseph’s College.
On Thursday, September 14th 2017, we observed an event during common hour, from 1p.m. to 2p.m. The event was organized by the Multicultural Student Life organization and Poder Latino as a kickoff for Hispanic Awareness month. It started with all of us gorging on the delicious, authentic Latin food, including enchiladas, nachos and salsa, and some tacos. As we got seated, I heard this strong, powerful female voice, which caught my attention in less then than a fraction of a second. The guest speaker was Elizabeth Acevedo, a renowned poet and an excellent performer, as we ourselves observed. Her poetry is tremendously inspired by her Dominican culture, as well as her upbringing in New York City.
Acevedo recited a number of poems, each related to one of her spheres of life including Teenage, Love, and the 2017 Presidential Election, among others. Her poetry was was so soulful and emotional. I instantly felt connected to it, and it it stayed with me throughout the event. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster, where I felt both happy and sad hearing her stories. Her performance was filled with so much energy and immense love, I could feel it traveling to me. The entire audience was keenly listening to her, and her way of describing how in the Dominican Republic, no one calls another, “Black”. Acevedo made us all reflect inwards and actually realize that we act racist at times.
She conveyed a lot with just a few words, and moved not just me, but everyone present in the audience. Everyone could relate to her stories at one point or another, which made us grow even fonder of her. Her strong delivery style kept us all engrossed, and we naturally gave her a standing ovation after the event. I wish I could have somehow elongated the duration of her program, but alas. She surely was a treat to watch, and it was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in my life. She has inspired me to never give up on my dreams, and this event will always be one of my most cherished memories.