The Student Life features Da Poetry Lounge SLAM team's Visit to Art After Hours

"Put it in a Poem: Waxing Poetic and Fighting Injustice Through Spoken Word," by Catherine Mosier-Mills, The Student Life

“How to survive an American horror story: Don’t be black.”

Such was the powerful opening line of a slam poem by Alyesha Wise and Matthew Cuban, two members of a nationally-acclaimed slam poetry team from L.A.’s Da Poetry Lounge.

Entitled “How to Survive an American Horror Story,” the poem focused on the prejudice and discrimination that people of color experience in the United States, presented through the lens of racist horror films. As they spoke about the all-too predictable deaths of tropes and stock characters, they reminded the audience of real-life horrors like the murders of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and many other citizens of color.

The slam poetry team were the featured guests at Art After Hours: Open Mic with a Mic and Dim Lights + Afrofuturism Feb. 26. at the Pomona College Museum of Art. Members of the Southern California community shared poetry about a diverse range of topics following a quilt exhibition, “American Spring: A Cause for Justice” in Bridges Auditorium.

David Romero, a Mexican-American spoken word artist from Diamond Bar, California, began the night with a poem about a proverbial wrestling match. He illustrated his scene by tying together history with the present reality.