The Women’s Center, alongside other cultural centers, celebrated women of color through monologues and spoken word poetry at their annual event, “In Full Color,” at Konover Auditorium Wednesday evening. The pieces were performed by members of the Thinking in Full Color organization, whose mission is to inform and entertain audiences by sharing experiences of women of color.
The three performers walked on stage and promptly sat down. The first performer, Liliane Wolf, stood up and began her piece, “Pocahontas,” which was about being bullied in grade school because she looked different from her primarily white peers. She later described it as being a personal journey about finding herself in a world in which she “didn’t know where Latinx stands in society because it was always talked about like ‘Either you’re white or you’re black.’” Although it’s a painful reality, Wolf learned to accept it later on.
Marielis Cruz, a fifth-semester English major, said, “there was never that in between like ‘Latino or Latina.’”
Summer Dawn Reyes, director and founder of “Thinking In Full Color,” performed the second piece, entitled, “Walls.” The piece was written by her younger sister and sheds light on her experience as a biracial child facing crude stereotypes and misconceptions about Asian cultures for being one of the only Asian students at school. It touches upon the idea of how xenophobia may create metaphorical, sometimes painful, walls between people who simply don’t understand each other.
“It just brings awareness like, ‘Hey there’s a whole group of people that live completely differently from you,’” Marianna Pelaez, a third-semester political science and human rights major, said. “Sometimes not understanding that is a big cause of hatred in our society and we have so much of it. Right now, it’s rampant.”
The third performer was Samille Ganges, who presented “He Doesn’t Want Me” by Courtney Wheeler. The poem touched upon the idea that some men have a strange racial bias for women, so much so that they may even fetishize a woman’s race based upon stereotypes.
After this, each performer presented a second round of poems and monologues followed by a discussion that explained the context and messages behind the pieces. They explained how Thinking in Full Color often gathers monologues through open submissions from across the world. The group often tours many colleges and communities to bring awareness to the importance of diversity in the media and arts.
“I think it’s something that could be beneficial for not only any woman of color, but anybody who might not identify that way to learn more about what it’s like,” Pelaez said.
Once the event wrapped up with closing remarks the audience applauded the performers’ efforts. Many members of the audience were eager to buy merchandise from Thinking in Full Color, ranging from stickers and pins to collections of monologues and chapbooks written by the performers.
“It was very inspiring, especially how women of color don’t see that [often]…they don’t tell their experiences everyday,” Cruz said.“Especially for me being a woman of color, it was kind of eye-opening and it reminds me that I’m not alone.”
Brandon Barzola is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.