Celebrating Maya Angelou through power of poetry

Last Updated by Martha Jasso on

Legendary poet, writer and activist, Maya Angelou has been inspiring hope, courage, and strength in generations for years through her spoken and written word. This week, in celebration of Black History Month, ARTS introduces you to a local poet who through her own art is celebrating Maya’s legacy teaching youth about the power of words.

Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, (poet, singer and hip hop artist) has been a performing spoken word artist since 2001. In collaboration with Gemini Ink's Writers in Communities program, Vocab was joined by fellow writer-in-residence Joyous “Windrider” Jimenez, the two hosted a workshop for Davis Middle School students in celebration of Maya Angelou.

Celebrating Maya’s legacy

The workshop included screening excerpts of the forthcoming Maya Angelou documentary, MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE, for the students, followed by the opportunity to compose group and individual poems, later captured in our KLRN studio where each student read their completed works.

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Vocab, Joyous and Gemini Ink guided students on how to creatively group words together, opening their minds, eyes and hearts to a new way of seeing words by teaching writing techniques like personification, alliteration, beats, and the art of spoken word. The students were able to compose their own poems inspired by Maya Angelou on the subject of freedom and what it means to each one of them.

“I think it’s great because they are really embracing these words and seeing the power of their own voice as they explore these thoughts about what it means to have courage, what it means to rise and what it means to stand for something, “said Vocab.

Watch this episode of ARTS airing Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. on KLRN.

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