By Emily Ballard
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Zeta Phi Beta along with the Black History Month Committee presented “Jazz and Stanzas” in the SUB Den.
The performances at the event, including poetry readings and musical pieces, extended beyond the gushy notions of love associated with Valentine’s Day.
Student performances dealt with topics like yearning for romantic love rooted in spirituality, feelings of heartache, and love that went wrong.
“We are here to celebrate love in music and in word,” said Grand Prairie senior Eseosa Azenabor, president of Zeta Phi Beta. Sometimes love is painful, she said.
Dallas senior Chiquita Burrows recited a poem at the event titled, “A Faded Dream or Distant Memory” that mentioned the struggles of trying to stay away from an ex, taking partial responsibility for and continuing to smile after a break up.
“I wanted something more, something deeper,” she said in her poem. “I’m to blame just the same.”
Rowlett junior Alysia Johnson recited an impassioned poem that took the form of a dialogue between a couple tangled in an abusive relationship. Azenabor said the poem expressed the two sides of love—the one that hurts and the one full of joy.
Waddell, Ariz., senior Tahny Newbill sang at “Jazz and Stanzas.” She said she had not decided what she was going to sing when she arrived but that she always decides once she takes the stage.
She performed an a cappella rendition of “Amazing Grace” that captured the audience’s attention throughout her performance.
“That’s the song that my mom always used to sing,” she said.
Waco senior April Neal recited a poem from her book, “Some Things Just Sound Better on Paper.” The poem was titled “Important Notice” and expressed the challenge women face with finding themselves beautiful in today’s society.
“Is there anybody here that loves themselves before cosmetics?” her poem asked.
She said she will be making an appearance at Baylor Chapel in the near future.
Singer John Legend’s popular love song, “All of Me” was performed by Killeen senior Alfred Rucker and Copperas Cove junior Brandon Summerlin, with Rucker singing and Summerlin playing the keyboard. The audience cheered as they recognized Legend’s tune.
Real Deal Soul Food catered the food offered during intermission.
Though they did not take donations at the event, Azenabor said her sorority will be taking donations for the Waco Family Abuse Center.
They need products such as hair color, Chap Stick and body lotion. To make donations, contact her by e-mail at Eseosa_Azenabor@baylor.edu.