Poet ‘X’PLICIT’ kicks off Black History Month

Joud Bayeh | reporter

Black History Month at Pittsburg State opened in explicitly poetic fashion with the talents of spoken word artist Brandon Thorton.
The Black Students Association (BSA) and the Office of Student Diversity invited Thorton, also known as X’PLICIT, to the University Club on Feb. 4.

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Poet Brandon ‘X’PLICIT interacts with the audience during his poetry session Feb. 4 in the U club

This is Thorton’s second performance at the university. He opened the schedule of Black History Month events last year.

His act began with a rendition of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the theme song from the namesake Will Smith sitcom.
Thorton moved to a deeper topic by reciting his own poems about social problems like poverty and racism.
“Black people are the No. 1 consumer but the last in education,” he said, reading from one of his poems. In another poem, he attacked what he says is the exploitation of black people by credit agencies.
“It is legal, but is it fair?” he said.

Another highlight was a poem about black history covering everything from the start of slavery to today, including the Civil War, Reconstruction and the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws and the civil rights movement.
“It was really good; they put very good images in my head,” said Darrell Chism, junior in business management. “The flow was really spectacular and the subject matter was deep.”
About 40 people attended the event, which included Thorton and three other spoken word artists who performed.
“I really enjoyed it, it was eye opening because you just get a different perspective from the poets and really makes you stop and think,” said Kimberlee Fields, president of the Black Student Association and sophomore in psychology.
Thorton stepped down from the stage and allowed other artists to perform, but then did an encore from the center of the crowd. When he was done, Thorton gave handouts that featured a list of books he recommends.
“Sometimes I watch TV and feel stupid so I wonder: why am I watching it?” he said.
Thorton reflected on his reception after the show.
“I enjoy the atmosphere, the students are very responsive,” he said. “I feel like they took something away from the poetry. It was just a great experience.
He encouraged his fans to follow his example.
“I just want to encourage people to write poems, put their feelings on paper,” he said. “It’s a great sense of release and therapeutic.”

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