*originally published by The Santa Clara on October 23, 2014.
Poet uses craft to define his identity
“What do I want? To have an identity. What do I want? To feel accepted. ¿Cuando? Ahora. ¿Dónde? Aquí. Right here, right now.”
Spoken word artist David A. Romero explored his cultural identity using poetic words to guide the expedition last night in the Bronco.
In observance of Latino- Chicano Heritage Month, the Multicultural Center and Office of Multicultural Learning brought Romero to campus.
“The bulk of my craft deals with Latino identity and looks at the extremes of being whitewashed to those of a radical, Chicano perspective,” said Romero.
Romero has been performing around the country in recent weeks.
He also specializes in motivational speaking and holds workshops that aid students in expressing themselves.
Marissa Martinez, associate director of the Multicultural Center, believes that poetry has the power to enact social change and make students feel empowered.
“We really want to show the students of Santa Clara that they have a voice and that when expressed, it’s very powerful,” said Martinez. “Spoken word is one way to do this.”
Romero’s poems range from light-hearted to critical. “Make Me More Mexican” addresses the pressure Mexican-Americans have to speak Spanish. “Cheese Enchiladas” humorously touches on how food is the best way to a stranger’s heart.
In his senior year of college at the University of Southern California, Romero became seriously interested in his Chicano heritage and history. It was through education that he felt inspired to continue advocating for social justice.
“I want to empower students to see that there is a forum for discussions on (social rights) after you graduate,” said Romero. “It doesn’t have to stop when you leave college.”
Last night’s performance also promoted MCC’s mission of giving student voices legitimacy and a means of expression.
Senior Apeksha Sharma admired the ability Romero’s words have to inspire others.
“There’s no way anyone is going to know what you want changed unless you speak up for yourself,” said Sharma.