Thursday, July 9, 2009

Poetic & Practically Parentless; Group/Foster Home Kids Speak Out | Purchase College SUNY

Last night, I attended a slam poetry event held at the White Plains Library, free of charge; it was worth the fifteen minute drive from Purchase College. The bulk of the audience seemed to be young, male, teens of color currently living in foster care or group homes namely 'the system'. These youth spoke of drug addicted mothers, broken homes and the force fed, day-to-day stress that they feel many adults undermine simply because of their young age.

Eboni Hogan, the featured poet was engaging, passionate and inspiring. Her list of credentials render her as one the top spoken word artists in the New York City area; at least it sounded that way when she was introduced. She had a delivery like Jennifer Hudson or Jill Scott; raw, conscious and commanding. Fearless and full of energy, people of different ages, ethnicity and poetic styles shared their original work during open mic.

Comic relief and a break from the emotionally heavy poetic themes came from a girl possibly no older than twelve years of age who dedicated a poem to her father. Incidentally, he was present and facilitated the slam contest. Her poem was about the things she learned from him and was expressed through the use of witty car and computer analogies.

Poetry Slam night at the library was well worth it, I'll definitely attend again! If we don't support our youth, then who will? As dull and dry as "White Plains" sounds its not as lame as possibly perceived. Located only ten to fifteen minutes from Purchase College SUNY, one could actually forgo the forty five minute trip to New York City and be pleasantly surprised. For now, I'm mustering up the courage to step up to the mic.

White Plains Library | Image source:
The two individuals photographed were 2 of 3 finalist in the poetry slam competition.


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