Ushering in National Poetry Month with Ms. Washington by Ashley Anumba, Co-editor-in-Chief
Photo by Brandon Pickering
Thank you to the wonderful student photographer, Brandon Pickering, and student reporter, Ashley Anumba for capturing the event of the Human Library at Chaffey Community College in such a poignant article. Thank you Principal Susan Petrocelli for making it possible for students to attend and staff advisor for the Grizzly Gazette school newspaper, Lori Villasenor.
Powerful. This seems to be the only word to describe Romaine Washington’s performance at the Chaffey College’s Human Library event that occurred last week.
The title of Washington’s presentation, Serendipity Sirens and Social Justice, coincidentally and ironically was perfect: it was Cesar Chavez Day. To start the presentation, she spoke about the moments of her life that happened by chance and read her poems on social justice.
Washington said, “I began to play with the concept of sirens and not just something as a warning but something that stops you so that you change and do something else. Then I started thinking about all the serendipitous moments in my life.” Washington continued by sharing the incidences where she met Omar Tyree, Michael Beach, and others.
With her vivid language and varied emotion, Washington was able to captivate her audience with the tellings of coincidental moments in life that propelled her into the world of poetry. From being apart of the Georgia State Slam team to walking into buildings and being offered jobs, the message was obvious: do what you love and happiness, as well as opportunities, will follow.
“All of these things happened not because I knocked on doors or put in a resume or asked around, but the door just opened,” finished Washington To finish the presentation, Washington read a few poems from her book Sirens in Her Belly and had the listeners participate in a group poem commemorating Cesar Chavez and his efforts.
The event, which highlighted social diversity and equity, was chosen to encourage people to understand one another and their varying cultures. This has been the second time the Human Library has occurred at Chaffey, but Carol Hutte, Librarian and Library Event Coordinator at Chaffey College, believes that more will be planned for the future.
Hutte said, “(Human Library) is meant to get conversations going between different cultural groups and to learn about the human experience.” The future plan for this event is to highlight different aspects of life that ultimately targets the college students, but everybody is welcome to attend, including high schoolers.
The reading and presentation was a great way for Washington to usher in National Poetry Month, which occurs in April.
For this Literary Free Write, Gavin Shehan presents Donald Trump as the character Meursault from The Stranger by Albert Camus Trump, somehow lost after wandering out of his winter home in the south of Texas, was exceedingly uncomfortable. His now wrinkled and sweat-stained suit made him appear as some sort of zombie in your prototypical television show- his toupee was matted, his spray-tan created visible splotches in his skin tone, ranging from dark orange-brown to the pale and oddly pure white of his bare skin, his strange drunkard stumble… Like any uncomfortable toddler would, Trump complained the whole time he walked along, mumbling “damned, foreign, incomprehensible wife of mine” or “Mexico should install an AC unit for their climate” or “why haven’t I seen the wall- oh yeah, I need to build it.” Ironically, he did actually cross into Mexico after a time. After a while in the foreign land, he stumbled across a creek, and on its banks rested a native- sombrero, pancho, and all. Standing over the sleeping man, Trump’s mind wandered. His thoughts drifted from his presidential campaign, to the great successes of his life, to the resentment he held for his father for lending him only the $1 million loan, and finally back to the Mexican. “Look at him sleep there,” he brooded angrily. “Not a care in the world. Probably not a single dollar to his filthy name. All the while I’m here due to my wealth and sleep deprivation. It’s not fair. I should have just bought the land next to the border and built the wall myself. Look at him. All he has is the coolness of this creek to himself … I must have it!” Nearing unconsciousness, Donald drew his .38 special and pumped a single round into the innocent man’s head.