This piece was written for “The Towerlight” at Towson University as a contributing writer. Check out this, and other stories from The Towerlight here:
Students showed off their talents for singing, dancing and poetry Friday at the Black Student Union’s open mic night, dubbed “Bless the Mic,” in the West Village Commons.
Members of BSU slam poetry group “Voices” recited some of their own original works. Voices members introduced “paper clipping” poetry, in which an audience member yells out a word, and the poet creates an impromptu poem based on that word.
Sophomore Tigist Tadesse believes that the purpose of the event was to create a “gateway for friendships and networks to take place.”
“If people share their talents and relationships, it’s a bridge to connect with one another even though they are part of different organizations, different cultures, [and] different backgrounds,” Tadesse said.
Attendees sung a diverse range of songs from artists such as Chance the Rapper, Stevie Wonder and John Legend. Audience members sang and danced together as a way of showing their liking for the performance.
“I go to almost all of the BSU events,” junior Jhonna Brookins said. “I think it’s a community thing, you’re surrounded by people who understand your identity. I’m surrounded by people who ‘get it’ in a different way – other Towson events might not. I can yell, and holler and scream if I want to. It’s pretty accepting.”
Freshman Ashley Mbemba said that she would “definitely attend” if BSU held the same event next year.
“I’m having fun,” Mbemba said. “It’s really important to see different people show off their talent. You wouldn’t really expect them to have such talent, but they do.”