United Healthcare and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts celebrated the MLK Holiday Weekend with special performance events.
The artistic events included the Respect the Mic Poetry Slam and a prelude to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial dedication in Washington, DC accompanied by a performance by Blacks in Wax, and a number of at exhibitions.
The second floor lobby of the Gantt Center was lined with five young people portraying historic and present-day African Americans. They stood next to life size posters modeled after the Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, MD. They delivered monologues and speeches about well-known figures—from Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Ertha Kit.
Blacks in Wax is just one of the programs from the Washington, DC-based youth group dedicated to African-American history and culture. After listening to these articulate young people, there was a screening of Anna Lucasta – part of the Black Classic Cinema Series – starring Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis Jr. to round out the afternoon.
On the roof of the Gantt Center Respect Da Mic, was celebrating MLK Day and the highest attendance of their Poetry Slam season. This was due to “a new level of excitement mixing the youth and adult poets in a slam,” said Twenty20 an international poet, educator. “It’s great to see that poets include local high school students as well as slam poets from as far away as Greensboro,” said Twenty20 who also hosted the writing workshop. C.P. Maze a U.S. Marine won the Slam with his passionate performance of poetry.
The usual Respect Da Mic format included three events. Every second Saturday there is a writing workshop at 12 noon, a youth poetry showcase and an adult slam. Poets from all over the country compete all year long for a slot on Respect Da Mic’s National Poetry Slam Team. This month Blaqberry the Slam Master decided to open both the workshop and slam to adults and youth.
Next month the RDM Slam will be held on Feb 4th in honor of Black History month, they will be celebrating with special events all month long.
Respect Da Mic is a regional champion and a certified Poetry Slam Inc. nationally ranked poetry slam team based in Charlotte, NC. They were established in 2007 with the mission is to promote the connection of artistic expression, literacy and community through performance poetry. For more information on respect da Mic Events please visit www.RespectDaMic.org
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