SPEAK

SPEAK

A Sensory Poetic Experience
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As millennials, we often are regarded as uncultured, void of novel ideas, or negligent in craft when it comes to art. Such ideas are easy to fathom considering we no longer live in an era of artistic growth in which artists litter the streets with raw, nonconforming work that defies constructs and brakes barriers for minorities, exposing sexual and social deviance. Those times produced musical, visual, and literary artists such as Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Zora Neale Hurston, Kara Walker, Rainier Rilke, and Edgar Allen Poe. Literary icons who paved the way for contemporary artists of today.

The present age of digitized media often causes the essence of art and the artistic experience to feel diluted. As of Thursday night, I witnessed a resurgence of the qualities in which our artistic greats were inspired and thrived which are very much prevalent within our very own downtown Cincinnati.

Recently, the professor of my Senior Poetry class mentioned that much of the classic arts that people tend to regard major cities with, such as New York and Paris, have dwindled as a result of touristic consumerism and an influx of wealthier people which drives out artists who cannot afford to live in the hub of the cities any longer. From her perspective, this is not the case in Cincinnati which she remarked as being rich with culture and opportunities to grow and collaborate creatively. To hear such great things from a newcomer to Cincinnati made me feel proud my hometown, because it's really easy to overlook the beauty and rich quality that this city has to offer.

Still fresh in my mind, I was reminded of an invitation I was given to partake in a poetry event hosted by two good friends of mine, known as the Twins- Ashley and Alexis Cox, that curate and host the poetry slam experience known as SPEAK: A Space for Thoughtful Expression. As a poet and lover of poetry, I was thrilled to witness the expression of spoken word within my community and when I finally was granted the free time to go, I was thoroughly anticipating the day’s arrival.

From getting to know the Twins, who are lovers of art and activism, I expected to witness something great, but as I walked through the rustic tunnel-themed venue I knew that I was in the midst of an unforgettable experience. The large building known as the Mockbee had the subtle aroma of pineapple and the sweet aromatics provided by a Cuban food vendor. The essence of mint and lemon swirled about one corner of the long walkway from a vendor table which sold natural soaps and bath essentials from a local woman who made organics soaps in her kitchen.

Classic hits accented with modern flair filled the entire complex of the venue as the DJ worked the turntables effortlessly. The lights dimmed the sensory pleasure of the music, highlighted by the visual clarity and strength of a fellow dancer and friend who worked the wooden platforms in the middle of the room hitting every beat of the melodic J. Cole song with force, precision, and emotion. The most engaging aspect of the event was that the venue lacked a stage. Instead, there were two wooden platforms parallel to each other engulfed between the rows of seating, therefore allowing for the audience to completely surround each performer like a messenger orating to the streets upon a soapbox.

The Twins had previously extended an invitation for me and my dance team (CA)^2 to perform at one of the events which we fully planned to do, thereafter watching the dance performance that night completely solidified the importance that our very own performance would make on this event. Truthfully, SPEAK proves not only to be a poetry engagement, but provides a platform for both music and dance to be appreciated as a necessary artistic genre, thus allowing for the expression of art beyond words. When asked what SPEAK means to her, Alexis answered best as she said, "SPEAK...means the ability to tap into our culture. It represents the manifestation of cultural divides coming to a close."

After two years and an expansion of public attendance starting at 35-45 people to now accommodating 150 people, Ashley and Alexis Cox are a duo of movers and shakers presenting culture and publicizing the artistic craft bleeding within the veins of Cincinnati. When asked what SPEAK means to her, Alexis answered best as she said, "SPEAK...means the ability to tap into our culture. It represents the manifestation of cultural divides coming to a close."

Overall, SPEAK stands as one of the few remaining novelties of artistic expression and evocation still existing within our current state of popular culture. A culture strongly connected with supposed art masked with superficiality and uninspired style. I am grateful that there are young people around who yearn for culture and for growth in the arts when it is not always readily available. For those who live in Cincinnati, I recommend going to a SPEAK event which takes place every third Thursday of the month at the Mockbee located at 2260 Central Parkway 45214.

Cover Image Credit: Cultartes Magazine

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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