Bradley students experienced rhythm, style and the intimate side of slam poet Oveous at an Oct. 12 event held by ACBU.
Oveous performed live from New York City while the performance was streamed to a large screen on Olin Quad. Most Bradley students opted to watch on the accompanying video link at home.
His performance consisted of about six poems on a variety of topics ranging from COVID-19, police brutality, women of color, mental health, self-love and the Black Lives Matter movement.
ACBU coordinator Makayla Horn, who was one of the organizers of the event, watched Oveous perform at the National Association for Campus Activities last February in Denver.
“He was really excited to perform on the Black Lives Matter topic when we asked him and we just loved his rhythm and style,” Horn said. “Also, the Black Lives Matter movement is definitely something that the Bradley community could be more educated on.”
The poems were brought together with short stories from Oveous’ life that helped transition from one topic to another. He talked about a surprising relationship with one of his devout fans who also happened to be a police officer.
“It all goes back to what I am saying: that we are all human and we just need to learn to kind of, you know, give each other the benefit of the doubt, whenever possible, you know,” Oveous said during the performance.
He also talked about his brother, who decided to take his own life by jumping off a bridge 18 years ago due to mental health issues.
“My brother was an amazing poet and he was definitely my launching pad,” Oveous said. “The voice of depression was louder than the love he had for himself at the time.”
The closing poem was a letter addressed to Oveous’ heroes, including Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Michael Jackson and Breonna Taylor.
“I loved every bit of it, but my favorite part would be his final poem to his heroes and the questions he has for them because that made me think about my inspirations and what my questions for them would be,” Robyn Batsell, a junior television arts major, said.
The performance ended with Oveous thanking the audience for giving him the biggest trophy possible: their attention.