By Marielle Echavez, Staff Writer—

In honor of Black History Month, UTC hosted a night of poetry and spoken word entitled “United.”

This event was hosted by the Office of Student and Family Engagement and the Office of Multicultural Affairs on Feb. 18. 

The theme of the event was centered around being united. This event was an open forum for all creatives to express themselves, but was mostly centered around African American culture and experiences. 

All types of performers were encouraged to participate whether that was through poetry, drama, short fiction or song, and everyone who is a lover of creative works was invited to hang out and enjoy a night of creativity. 

There were multiple acts throughout the night involving videos of speakers and poets, a song performance, self-written words, and famous poetry read aloud by students. 

UTC junior Mark Drinkard attended the event and feels that events like United are important because they allow people to gain a different perspective and better understanding of another culture, he said. 

Many topics centered around what life is like as a black person in America and how being united strengthens the community. Although the theme of the event was united, the space was welcoming to all conversations regarding any topic. 

Between acts, everyone was welcome to snacks and beverages as games were hosted on the stage where students had the opportunity to win prizes. Open discussion about the acts was also encouraged. 

According to Drinkard, the celebration of black history and people shouldn’t be whittled down to only one month. 

“And that goes for every culture, we should always be in appreciation of our own experience and the experience of others because that’s what life is about,” he said. “All of these different perspectives and cultures coming together in peace and understanding.”

Noel Williams introduced the event and each performance that went onto the stage. Williams opened the event and also closed it with spoken word, following the theme of the entire night, that was titled “United.” 

Her poem was about the struggle to feel united, and her ending remark was “somebody please tell me what it means to be united.”

Drinkard shared a way that he believes may help bring more unity. 

“Everyone should take time to talk to black people and ask them about their experience and expand their worldview,” he said. “Black people can be pigeonholed and stereotyped really easily into being this one mold, but we’re all unique and have a story to tell.” 

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