Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center Humboldt Park crowd listens to Frankiem Mitchell.

Published on May 5th, 2016 | by editor


Humboldt Park’s “Voices from the Underground” Speaks to Shared Experiences

As part of Black History Month earlier this semester, Wright College’s Humboldt Park campus hosted “Voices from the Underground”, featuring Chicago-based performers: Every Eve Trio, Frankiem Mitchell, Ayinde Cartman, and Ronica Daize. The event kicked off with a trivia contest where audience contestants tested their knowledge of black history.

Student Yaryna Khlibovych attended the event with her Speech 101 class. A native of Ukraine, she was happy to learn about black history in America both through the contest and the poetry that was shared. “The poems got very personal, and the poets shared their feelings on situations that deeply affected them. It was inspiring and sincere,” she said.

Singer Ronica DaizeSinger Ronica Daize’s performance merged poetry and music. Her lyric “while you’re not home, you have been housed,” spoke to the experiences of many immigrants who have brought the beauty and richness of their cultures to Chicago in order to create a home away from home.

Humboldt Park academic advisor, Barbara Krzewinska, who is a native of Poland, was deeply moved by Daize. “So much of the poetry was universal and applied to everyone who came from different cultures and were not able to fit into the mainstream right away. The singer was comparing immigrants to loose leaves falling on the ground and it touched me because I was an immigrant at one point, I could relate to that,” she said.

Lecturer Alfredo Suarez also attended the event with some of his manufacturing students and said he “really enjoyed the passion each speaker put into their performance.” Poetry group Every Eve Trio took turns boldly expressing their feelings as part of their performance. Every Eve member Joy Stokes said such poetry was her responsibility saying “I have to spread awareness about injustices that are still happening today and that there is still hope for my neighborhood.”

Contributor: Aasha Francis, Wright College/Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center

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