Argo Learning Resource Center hosts poetry event in honor of Black History Month

With the help of local poets Avery R. Young and Bella Bahhs


Anaiah Davis, Staff Writer

Bella Bahhs, a young African-American poet and criminal justice consultant from Chicago, came to Argo to share her poetry as a part of Black History month festivities this past Friday, February 8th. Bahhs was recently in Washington D.C. where she met with Senator Cory Booker to talk about prison reform. On Friday, she spoke to students about how she became a criminal justice consultant and how poetry is a way for people to express themselves and tell their stories without being judged.

Bahhs performed some of her pieces and one of them, however unnamed, can probably be referred to as “I See You” or “I C U”. Bahhs got the audience to participate by having them sing the chorus and gave some background information for the lyrics by asking students, “How can you see each other in a way that feels like we are being intensively cared for.” In the piece, she talks about people handling their business and just doing the best they can in life. The piece inspires people to always care for themselves and she even says in one line “gotta shout out your reflection, that’s a real one on your side.”

Avery Young, another poet from the South Side of Chicago, helped set up the event and even performed a few works of his own. He’s worked with Argo over the past few years with students and even the Poetry Club here.

Several groups of students read poems as well. There was a notable performance by student Darrien Samuels, who regularly shares his poetry with his peers and is a member Argo’s Poetry Club. Samuels presented a poem about his struggles growing up in a home with bad parents. The emotion was raw and it’s evident that the poem was a too true story for him that he wishes to share with others because he knows he is not alone in that experience. At one point he says, “I speak for myself, but I know I probably speak for millions”.

Black History Month has started off with a bang here at Argo. Every Friday of February there is a different event for students to attend and hear from different speakers and engage in activities. Last week there was a viewing of Selma in the PAC, followed by this epic poetry last week.

The performances were nothing short of amazing. It’s always good to see people, especially our peers, expressing and just being themselves through art. We can only hope for many more fun Black History Month activities in the weeks to come.