BY: SAMIA WARSAME
The Bridge pulsed with energy as audience members perched in every nook and cranny of the cafe. Senior and competing poet Bayadir Mohamed-Osman marveled at the sight and said that she chose to perform to "support the community of artists." Some attended to support friends or colleagues who were competing, while others found solace in the intimate setting.
Tomorrow is Speak Fresh's second slam poetry event of the year. Last month saw dozens of attendees come out for powerful poetry, coffee and good company.
In the front of the room stood a lone mic, where competitors spun stories about queerness, blackness, being a Muslim in America, feminism, mental illness and the inherent struggle of breaking up with your barber. The versatility of the poetry had audience members tearing up from sheer emotion to laughing, and of course, the most powerful lines were punctuated with snaps.
The night also featured guest poets Jamal Parker and Jovan McKoy, known as poetry collective "Black Boy Fly." Hailing from Philadelphia, the two poets talked about brotherhood, childhood and growing up in a world where they are targeted simply for the color of their skin.
"In the aftermath of a hate crime on campus, it's refreshing to really see the students of this campus really come together and stand against hatred by speaking out and supporting each other during this tumultuous time," said freshman Jaidah Murray.
Fellow freshman Johorey Jafar added she came out "to hear the perspective of marginalized people in such an artistic way without any bias attached."
As the night came to a close, Speak Fresh Bout Manager Ryan Shepard announced the judges picked first-year student Dakoury Godo-Solo as the first place winner. Godo-Solo will go on to compete in tomorrow's Speak Fresh.