MacMurray College will be celebrating Black History Month tonight with the 4th annual Poetry Celebration. This free event will take place tonight at 7 p.m. In the Marian Chase Schaeffer Studio Theatre on the second floor of the Jenkins Education Complex.
Dr. Jeannie Zeck, an English and Rhetoric professor at MacMurray, says students won’t just read the poems, they will perform them.
“ The idea is that students will prepare poems from African-American poets or any poet of color or any poet who is writing about issues of diversity. The students are not just going to read the poems but they are actually going to perform the poems. The idea is to enjoy the poetry, hear the messages, and come together for a celebration of the arts and African-American culture and history.”
Student performances are limited to 5 minutes per poem and there will be a maximum of 15 performers for the evening. Students will have to sign up 15 minutes before their performance.
Dr. Zeck says that there is little to no oversight about what the students will perform.
“We trust them to choose whatever they want. There are no taboos, so whatever language there is in the poems, that’s the language that there is. The arts need to be wide open like that and allow full expression.”
Four prizes of $25 dollar chamber checks will be awarded to the best student performers. Audience members will also have a chance to win small prizes by answering quiz questions about cultural diversity and African-American history.