Slam poetry can be a way for artists to release — whether it be through a rap, song or even journal entry. And the hosts of “Life like it’s Golden, Golden," a virtual open mic night, hope to create a space where this release is possible.
In collaboration with the Collegiate Association for Artists of Color (CAAC), UNC’s Ebony Readers/Onyx Theatre (EROT) will host a virtual slam poetry open mic night that follows the theme, “Life like it’s Golden, Golden.”
The event will take place Thursday, March 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Anyone is free to join the celebration, and all students of color are welcome to share at the event.
EROT president and broadcast journalism student Jazmine Bunch was contacted by Emily Goes, a recent New York University graduate and one of the programming directors at CAAC, to organize a performance opportunity for their groups. Together, they decided that a joint event was best to broadcast their respective messages.
“CAAC doesn’t have a spoken word collective like we have, so we decided to have an open mic,” Bunch said. “Most of our open mics just reach the campus community, whereas this one is virtual so anybody could come in at any time, whether they're on the East coast or the West coast, whether they're in school or they're in their adult years, there’s space for that.”
Goes said the goal for the event is to create a space for students of color to have a platform to write, perform and commune to share their writing.
“Slam poetry is often a weapon of liberation,” Goes said. “I wanted to harness the power of the words at the intersection of poetry and performance, but rooted in the spirit of thriving, so we can say that we've claimed our liberation.”
The purpose of CAAC is to provide creative support, a unified community and equal opportunity platforms for students of color to pursue their craft. Goes referred to it as a sanctuary for people of color to advocate for themselves and help create a world where art belongs to everyone.
Cassi Quayson, a sophomore at NYU focusing on language and liberation, is the editorial director for CAAC. She works with most of the written work for the group and will perform at the event. Quayson said she is most looking forward to sharing with a community of like-minded people.