Climate Hero Poetry Slam & Open Mic
2023, Senior, Interactive & Multimedia
Climate Hero: Colonel Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers, National Park Service and United States Military
Project Description: The Public Art Team developed a Poetic Exhibition that asked students to research and focus their submissions on everyday trailblazers who are tackling climate threats with innovative and effective solutions.
The Public Art Team decided to take a historical approach and focus on Colonel Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers whose work influenced the National Park System in America. Colonel Charles Young was the first African American National Park Superintendent. The Buffalo Soldiers were African American men who served on the Western frontier from 1867 to 1896. Indigenous Americans gave them the nickname “Buffalo Soldiers” to the all-Black Cavalry Regiments. Buffalo Soldiers contained wildfires, poachers, and supported infrastructure within National Parks. Colonel Young and his Buffalo Soldiers’ work laid the groundwork for park management today.
We are using poetry, art, research, creativity, and music to create a platform that shares the history about African American Climate Heroes and provides space to discuss climate change awareness. As a part of our poetic exhibition, Local Poets and Poetry Organizations provided support to us. These poets gave us permission to share their works on our website. We were honored that Local Poets Ten Thousand and Julio Montalvo Valentin shared their work about Climate Change, Colonel Charles Young, the Buffalo Soldiers and the intersectionality of how racism and the treatment of indigenous peoples were impacted. This allowed us to give the audience a better overview of our message in collaboration with our works and discussion of climate change.Visit Site
My work was inspired by the Buffalo soldiers and by struggles that both the soldiers and people of my own culture have faced. Since I was very young art has always been a gateway for me to express all my thoughts and my true self. The writing process was nerve-racking because I knew I was expected to get up on stage and perform in front of people. If I had to give advice to anyone, it would be to always try to resonate what you are working on with you and your past experiences. This makes the piece more emotional. After doing research on climate change and our beautiful oceans, I’ve learned that humans really take this earth for granted. We have to take better care of this planet we call home because we only get one. With that being said we also have to take care of one another because we are all sharing this world, and we all deserve to prosper on a healthy planet. The Buffalo soldiers' efforts make me feel more comfortable about the future knowing that there are brave people out here that are willing to face the danger head on to make this world better.