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April is National Poetry Month!

virtual poem

April is National Poetry Month.  Join the African American Cultural Center in our weekly celebration of established poets and emerging voices.  On Mondays, we will lift up the voices of inspirational poets who have created the vibrant and necessary world of black poetry over the past century.  On Wednesdays, we invite new voices (that’s you!) to share your artistry with the UIC community.  We will post your poems to the AACC website and on our social media.

Check in weekly to be inspired!

April 29, 2020Everything is Different

Out there
The weather seems normal
The sun still comes out
The rain still falls
But you know it’s not the same
Empty streets and deserted roads
No sign of life here
Quiet, except
6 feet apart
The phrase heard round the world
6 feet apart
Apocalyptic cries fill our ears
People don’t come round these parts no more
The saints came marching in
collecting fighting soulsEverywhere
Mask on
Guard up
Go on smile with your eyes
I look at their eyes
Hold your breath
Don’t you dare let it out
Virus proof shield
Reminiscent of bullet proof glass
don’t fire

In here
I stare at the hands that cradled me all my life
Winding down for the day
Once familiar
Now foreign
Weary after long shifts
Fear and a single tear linger in her eye
She’s close but distant
Don’t worry mommy
We will embrace once again

Shoma W.


April 27, 2020This is Not a Small Voice

This is not a small voice
you hear this is a large
voice coming out of these cities.
This is the voice of LaTanya.
Kadesha. Shaniqua. This
is the voice of Antoine.
Darryl. Shaquille.
Running over waters
navigating the hallways
of our schools spilling out
on the corners of our cities and
no epitaphs spill out of their river mouths.
This is not a small love
you hear this is a large
love, a passion for kissing learning
on its face.
This is a love that crowns the feet with hands
that nourishes, conceives, feels the water sails
mends the children,
folds them inside our history where they
toast more than the flesh
where they suck the bones of the alphabet
and spit out closed vowels.
This is a love colored with iron and lace.
This is a love initialed Black Genius.
This is not a small voice
you hear.
From Wounded in the House of a Friend. Copyright © 1995 by Sonia Sanchez.

April 20,2020…“Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it”-Jesse Owens


April 15, 2020Niysia F. Poetry Video


April 13, 2020…“Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.” –Nikki Giovanni


April 6, 2020…“By doing the work to love ourselves more, I believe we will love each other better.” -Laverne Cox




Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.

Alice Walker

Submit your work here!