PNW students take home top prizes at the Black History Month Poetry Slam

March 16, 2020

About 75 students, faculty, staff, and community members filled the PNW CHESS Art Gallery for the third annual Black History Month Poetry Slam on February 13, 2020.

Student artists performed their original pieces under the theme “There is no better than adversity,” a popular quotation by civil rights icon Malcolm X.

Andrianna Johnson, a communication major, performed an original piece titled “Lioness to Cub,” and won first place. She said preparing for the event challenged her to consider her role as a black mother.

“The relationship a mother has with her son is very significant to his growth,” she said. “Having this event and space for students to express themselves and celebrate their heritage, uniqueness and background is very important.”

Chicago poet and rapper “The Third” performed two original pieces before serving as a judge, along with Jamia Steele, a local poetry event organizer, and Jessica Streeter, who recently earned her master’s degree in English.

Second place was awarded to PNW student AJ Saleh, and third place went to PNW student Jade Rios.

The event is part of the university’s Building Community Through the Arts program, which was established to reach the diverse external communities served by PNW.