BY ALEXANDRA FERRAGAMO
As Black History Month came to a close, the Krasnoff theatre was buzzing with performances celebrating black culture at the first annual African-American Read-In on campus. On Feb. 25, the event took place in two parts during the afternoon and evening.
The afternoon portion was a read-in featuring poet David Mills and student and faculty poets. Mills read four of his favorite personal works about the black community in America. He also spoke about the time he spent living in the home of Langston Hughes, a pivotal African-American poet who died in 1967. Mills used the opportunity to absorb the inspiring energy of his favorite creator.
Mills went on to speak of the pain that members of the black community experience, how society still treats them, and what they will do to stop the mistreatment.
There was a question-and-answer segment by a younger poet called False Prophet. He asked Mills what advice he would give aspiring poets and young African-American performers.
“Watch great dancers if you want to be a dancer, read writings by great poets if you want to be a poet, do if you want to be,” Mills said.
The second event in the the evening featured holistic spiritualist Phoenixx Love and alumna Oya Bangura (’16), who performed traditional African dance.
The show opened with a performance by Long Island Uniondale high school band and their conductor Sapphire Greene. Afterwards, Love was interviewed by Faith Lynn Morris, third year graduate student, about the mental health of members of the African-American community, holistic practices to improve anxiety and meditation for a healthier and calmer mind.
After the events came to a close, Love spread the word on African-American mental health and struggles.
“When it comes down to people of color, there is another layer added onto already present human struggles,” Love said. “We are dealing with racism, discrimination, microaggression.” She said how the mental health community is not progressive enough when it comes to African-American individuals.
With February being Black History Month, Love said she is sure to be extra sensitive to her African American patients in her work as a holistic health consultant and licensed clinical social worker, making sure to honor them and their emotions.