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Poetry event Saturday at Whitaker Black Box
MLK-inspired show set for 7:30 p.m. at West Main theater
W Mical Whitaker 28229
Mical Whitaker

              Georgia Hall of Fame inductee Mical Whitaker brings his original multi-media production, "An Evening of African American Poetry," to the Whitaker Black Box Theater Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
        In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Whitaker has assembled talented artists and the area's most distinctive voices to bring to life the words of iconic poets, including Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and Jill Scott among others. Created especially for the Averitt Center's Whitaker Black Box Theater on West Main St., the evening will be a fusion of music, dance and spoken word performances.
        As part of the Averitt Center's second annual African Heritage Series, Whitaker said that he hopes to showcase the history, legacy, and freedoms that were, at one time, one man's seemingly impossible dream.
        "This is a dedication to Martin Luther King's idea that everyone should live up to their dreams," Whitaker said.
        During one of the most controversial presidential elections in history, Whitaker believes that the event will be an inspirational force that reminds the community about the importance of tolerance, equality and unity.
        "This is the season for celebrating milestones, including a new president and remembering Martin Luther King," Whitaker said. "It's important to realize where we are as a society, especially within the millennial demographic, and poetry can take advantage of that idea better than any other performance - it's instant and it's now."
        Performers include ChiChi Okafor, Nnedi Okafor, Thurgood Johnson and Zion Weaver, as well as Elijah Hall and Drema Mincey reading their own original poetry. Ressie Fuller will be the evening's master of ceremonies and Atlanta's spoken-word artist and Georgia Southern alumnus Derrick Bailey will perform a selection of poems from his book "My W.H.I.P."
        Bailey is a motivational speaker and author from Atlanta who graduated from GSU in 2007 and has performed for more than 20 years.
        According to Whitaker, there is a very long tradition of poetry in African American history.
        "There is so much wisdom that can be found in poetry and the works we are reading are by poets that many Americans barely live by," Whitaker said. "When I realized this event was coming up, especially with the upcoming inauguration, I decided that I really wanted to hear what young people are saying about life right now."
        Sponsored by Georgia Southern University's Zach S. Henderson Library, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.


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