Breana Britt said being a minority student on campus wasn’t always the easiest.
“It makes it a little bit easier when you have people who support you,” Britt, president of the Black Student Union and a senior animal and nutritional sciences student from Waldorf, Maryland, said.
Seeing a need for a sense of community, Britt said the Black Student Union brought in poet Crystal Good as well as West Virginia band Black Garlic on Monday for a “Speak My Language” poetry night.
Good is originally from Charleston, West Virginia. She has been an adjunct professor at multiple universities and has a masters in fine arts in poetry. Good also is considered the “social media senator” of West Virginia, which was an attempt to shed light on the importance of social media in political discourse.
This is her second year participating in this Diversity Week event.
“WVU has been very generous and kind and supportive of me,” Good said.
Good is driven by a cause, and she feels poetry is the best medium to get her message across.
“I tell stories of West Virginia history. I tell my own story, so I think of myself as a poet, performer, storyteller,” Good said.
While she wanted to educate students through her poetry and experiences, Good ultimately wanted to facilitate an experience that might be new for many WVU students.
Also returning to WVU for a second year is Black Garlic, a band from Fayetteville, West Virginia, that plays a mix of rock, jazz and funk music.
“It is cool to come play for a different audience,” said Christian Tanzey, the band’s trumpet player.
Michael Williams, the bass player, said the band wanted to come back again for a second year because of how well they were treated at last year’s event. Ultimately, the band hoped students would hear a different sound than they had before.
To add to the diverse music by Black Garlic and poetry by Good, the Black Student Union also wanted to let the students share some of their own work.
“I hope that they gain a sense of community; everybody wasn’t the same in there. Everyone looked different. That’s really what diversity week touches on,” Britt said.
Overall, Britt thought the event was a success. It grew substantially in attendance from last year. She said she hopes it will continue as a staple in Diversity Week after she graduates.