SPEAK…with Intimacy to a Family

Written by Raymond Diaz

[MAKE-UP EVENT] The night began in the Espresso Royale Cafe of the Krannert Art Museum. Organized and moderated by Shaya Robinson, the event for the night was an open mic, where people were allowed to come up and share their artistic creations and express themselves with the audience. The host, Shaya Robinson, has been doing this for over 5 years so it came as no surprise the amount of people that showed and the intimacy that flowed throughout the room.

https://kam.illinois.edu/event/speak-café-4

The stage for where the open mic began

At the helm of the open mic was Shaya Robinson, she made the audience feel welcome, for both the newcomers and the veterans of said open mic. It was a powerful opener as she divulged into her personal experiences as a black woman growing up in the 90s. She flowed with emotion when discussing her experiences of love and talked of personal growth, speaking of finding ways to express herself honestly and share experiences to help others. The audience showed their support by clapping at the end and giving comments on personal stories they have shared over the years, giving way to one of the students that she mentored and watched over for some time. This student’s premiere at the open mic was beautiful, reaching deep into her experiences of what she has gone through. Speaking of an innocence that once was. Everyone spoke of something near and dear for them.

A participant who shared the confidence they have with who they are

One man spoke of his love for poetry, writing an ode for it, but also about his daughter. Her fascination with whales and how the memories they shared aided in them growing together and forming a strong bond, watching whales from various shores together. Another, a girl my age, sang songs of mental disorder and what it is like to help others when you’re the one who needs or wants help, just the comfort of having someone to lend a shoulder to rest your head on. There were women that gave poetry of confidence in their skin and spoke of not caring what men think and what it is like to be from a different country. And finally there was a man who gave a rather smooth and charismatic piece of life from the perspective of a man. All in all, it was an intimate time.

A participant who spoke of life from the perspective of a male

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