Screenshot courtesy of Black Resource Center
Black History Month is being celebrated within the San Diego State community in many ways, and creative expression through the medium of poetry is just one way people come together to connect shared experiences.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, students and staff joined poet Stacy Dyson in a spoken poetry and open mic artistry event hosted by the Black Resource Center. Students were also given the opportunity to share their poetry and open mic artistry prior to Dyson.
Dyson, the featured speaker of the event, has traveled the country doing workshops, literary program design, and written and spoken live performances in Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Mexico, South Dakota, Nebraska, and all around San Diego. She is a former Poet Laureate for Imagination Celebration (Colorado Springs), Colorado Women’s Playwriting Festival winner, Poet Laureate nominee for the state of Colorado, and a TEDx speaker.
She is the author of seven powerful collections of poetry, including her most recent publications “Lonely and Suffering” and “Follow Me On This,” both available for purchase at the event.
Throughout the evening, Dyson shared multiple pieces of spoken poetry illuminating the philosophy, life and times of being a Black woman. While Dyson doesn’t name titles of her poems as she performs, various pieces from her newest publications were presented, finishing the evening with a piece about why she is a poet.
Jasmine (Jaz) Miles, BRC Wellness Partner, poet, and Community Based Block Multicultural Counseling & Social Justice Education Program graduate student, opened for the event by sharing two spoken pieces, “Amerikkka Had a Dream 2.0” and “Dialect.” Miles’s Instagram is @vocalize.jay.
“Stacy Dyson and I found each other through this event. When I was asked to open for her, I quickly Googled her name,” Miles said. “The first poem I found was about how hard it is for society to accept the vulnerability, fear and humanity of Black women. I felt like that poem spoke to the many times I cried myself to sleep wondering if my emotions were too much for the world to bear; it was lonely. Even though Stacy Dyson has only recently came into my life, she reminded me of how powerful I am. She inspired me to get out of hiatus & speak through Nommo again.”
Miles opened up about what motivates her to write.
“To keep it short, I would say my ancestors inspire me to write. I believe that it is through them that my gift of feeling, knowing and having the courage to speak is possible. They paved the way for me to express my anger, my joy, my insecurities, my pleasure. It is truly an honor,” Miles said.
Along with explaining how her ancestors inspire her, Miles described how friends in her life have helped her along this journey.
“A good friend of mine, Ayesha Kosaka, shared with me through conversation that we are all creatives in our own right; it’s about listening to ourselves and our experiences. That’s powerful and I hope that anyone who is reading can tap into what makes their souls ignite with passion. Ashé,” Miles said.
Visit Stacy Dyson’s website or visit her Instagram/Facebook to purchase her collections, learn more about her work, and get updates on her future events.
The Black Resource Center is located at 5723 Lindo Paseo and is open Monday through Thursday (10 a.m to 6 p.m) and Friday (10 a.m to 4 p.m). They will be holding multiple other events celebrating Black History Month from a painting and education night, to another open mic poetry event. You can find more information about the BRC and details about their future events here.