FLINT TWP. — Encouraging whoops from the audience welcomed Lewis Allen II as he made his way to the stage to recite his original poem “The Occupation.”
“My poem is about love … about people having the strength to give up their dreams for other people and men being fathers to their children,’’ he said before launching into his recital like a pro who had done it many times before. His thoughtful delivery held evocative imagery with lines like “if they go down, they’ll go down together like the Twin Towers.’’
Lewis was among about 20 students who performed during the first annual Open Mic Night in the Carman- Ainsworth High School auditorium. Billed as a night for “sharing and caring,” Open Mic Night’’ brought out a range of performances from stand-up comedy to singing and piano playing. It was part of week-long activities sponsored by EFA, a new C-A student-led organization formed to combat bullying in schools.
EFA stands for Empathy for All. The group has presented anti-bullying skits at all C-A elementary schools and is concentrating its efforts for the rest of the year on the higher levels of bullying happening at the middle and high school.
Donations were accepted as admission to Open Mic Night. All proceeds went to the “The End of Bullying Begins With Me” campaign.
Master of Ceremonies Jalen Walker once cautioned the audience about talking during the performances because “it takes a lot of courage to get up here.’’ But for the most part, the performers showed no signs of stage fright as they took the stage.
Andy Snow’s stand-up comedy routine got chuckles from the audience and vocalist Sierra McNeal gave a moving acapella performance of Mariah Carey’s “Hero’’ which she dedicated to friends she wished to “rest in peace.”
Original poetry readings, about ten in all, dominated the presentations, punctuated by about eight vocalists and three stand-up comedians. Several students performed twice.
EFA meetings are held after school on Thursdays in Room 116.