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Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters: Events

This guide was created to support the Lift Every Voice initiative and grant. Tarrant County College is one of 49 institutions across the United States chosen to provide programming for this initiative.

Event Schedule

Tarrant County College is one of 49 institutions chosen to provide programming for Lift Every Voice. All events are free and open to the public. Events will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and will have automatic closed captioning. If you would like to request other accommodations, please contact the event organizer, Tracey Robinson, at tracey.robinson2@tccd.edu or 817-515-3388 at least one week in advance.

To sample the program content, please feel free to download the Lift Every Voice Project Reader

Download the full schedule of events with links:

Cooking, Traditions, and Poetry: Celebrating the African American Family: Feb. 11 at 3:00 pm

Please join us for an afternoon of family traditions on Feb. 11 at 3 pm! Chef Sherry Sipho, TCC Culinary Arts, will begin the session with a cooking demonstration that will remind you of family dinners. Professor Tonya Blivens and the TCC Speech students will follow with short presentations of poems focusing on family themes and stories from their own families. This program continues the celebration of the Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters grant and this year's African American Heritage Month theme, The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. Link will be coming soon!

If the video will not play, click Share and go to the link on YouTube. This is also a good way to watch it full screen.

Lift Every Voice Opening Reception

The opening reception is available to watch in full! Featuring readings and discussions by poets Jericho Brown, Nikky Finney, Tyehimba Jess, Sonia Sanchez, Danez Smith, Afaa Michael Weaver, Kevin Young, and more.

Atlanta’s Contribution to the Black Poetic Tradition

Dr. Elizabeth West, Professor of African-American Studies / English at Georgia State University and the Director of Academics for the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora (CSAD), moderates a panel discussion on the African American poetic tradition as rooted in the lived experience of being Black in the American South, with a particular focus on Atlanta.

Poetry and Civil Rights: Feb. 23 at 1:00 pm

African American poetry has long reflected and been inspired by the abolitionist and later the civil rights movements. Join TCC faculty members Michael Downs (History) and Madison Durapau (English) on Feb. 23 at 1:00 pm for a discussion of famous civil rights poems and how the modern social justice movement is reflected in poetry today. Link will be coming soon!

Super Poetry Slam: Feb. 24 at 3:00 pm

TCC students will compete by presenting their original poetry in a Super Poetry Slam on Feb. 24 at 3:00 pm. All are welcome to attend and cheer the students on! The link will be coming soon!

African American Read-In: The Black Family: March 1 at 12:00 pm

Delayed to March 1 due to weather. TCC's annual African American Read-In will be held online this year. Please join us on Feb. 22, 2021 at 12:00 pm for TCC faculty, staff, and students reading their favorite works by African American authors. 

Lift Every Voice: The Connections between African American Poetry and Music

African American poetry has deep connections with performance and music. Lift Every Voice and Sing, the perennially popular song, began as a poem. Join us on Feb. 18 at 2:00 pm to learn more about the interconnections of poetry and jazz with TCC Professor of Music, Dr. Greg Dewhirst. Link will be coming soon!

  • DELAYED DUE TO POWER OUTAGES, but will be rescheduled!