Soul Café, a well-organized event produced by the Progressive NAACP and sponsored by Temple Student Government, was held on Sept. 26 at Mitten Hall.
Soul Café offered a delightful ambiance. Lovely tables were set up with white tablecloths, complete with dimmed lights and candles. Jill Scott’s debut CD, a mix of R&B and jazz, played throughout the program. Scott’s music set the mood, while the audience anxiously waited to see the artists perform.
Everyone came out to have a good time and experience a night of poetry, spoken word, jazz and dance.
While all of the featured artists were organized, talented and well-prepared, a few stood out from the rest.
One such artist, Tranquility, read an original piece titled, “Black Statistics 101.” The poem disputed statistics given about African Americans. Contrary to popular belief, African-Americans are intelligent kings and queens, read the poem.
Enrique Carrion delivered a powerful poem titled “What a Whore.” He explicitly described a woman who used men as her puppets while longing for sanctuary in another man’s arms.
Another brother representing was Scott Strickling. Strickling read an original piece titled “Rebound,” which had a very surprising ending. He spoke of an intimate connection and a great passion for the true love of his life: basketball.
Senior Education major Frankie Bonilla read a lovely poem originally written for his mother, but also spoke of Latin and African-American women.
What was unique about “Spanish Poetry” was that the words were in Spanish. I didn’t have the slightest idea what Bonilla was saying, but it was really good.
Another great addition to the program was the live band All Natural. It was quite refreshing to hear a live band, complete with guitars, a conga and saxophone. The combination of singing, poetry, and the instruments added a different flavor to the show.
Other great acts in the show included two young women by the names of Tanya and senior Kente McDaniels. They performed a song about two people who, in a moment of passion, get themselves into a tough situation. The girl becomes pregnant and they each have opposing positions on whether to keep the baby or abort it.
@peace, another performer, read a piece about loving oneself before trying to love anyone else. She also said that people must be everything to themselves first before they can be anything to anyone else.
Soul Cafe was a beautiful event filled with good vibes, excellent performers and a positive atmosphere. Those who didn’t attend missed a good show.