A renowned poet from San Francisco State University, Javon Johnson, came to Fairfield on Monday, Nov. 9 to share his poetry with students and faculty.
Sophomore and Fairfield University Student Association Senator of the Class of 2018 Joe Harding had been trying to get Johnson to visit the University ever since he viewed Johnson’s “cuz he’s black” speech on YouTube back in February. After eight months of preparation, Harding finally had the opportunity to introduce Johnson to the student body in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center.
“I wanted to really engage the community in a dialogue about race, privilege, power, gender and a lot of different issues that we feel are important to our university’s core ideals,” Harding said.
Harding felt that Johnson did a great job covering these issues throughout the presentation of his poetry.
“He really interwove different personal stories with what’s going on on a larger political and economical level, and social level as well,” Harding said.
“He interweaves comedy, love, seriousness, obviously, but it all is very powerful. He uses comedy to really draw in the audience and then he hits you with that suckerpunch,” Harding said, praising the effectiveness of this strategy in our community.
A major topic that Johnson discussed in his presentation was the fact that in their daily lives, people don’t give that much thought to the impact that certain racial issues actually have in our society.
“We might not think about a certain issue with regards to race because we don’t really realize it, but an undercurrent of that would be that it does deal with race, that it is the color of someone’s skin that really determines what their life is going to be like,” Harding said.
According to Harding, the event was widely received by the Fairfield community. “We had a really great turnout, a couple hundred people came, so that was great.”
“I think his message will definitely resonate with and reverberate throughout our community,” Harding added.