On Tuesday night, Brooklyn based slam poet Carlos Andrés Gómez performed to a large crowd at the Turret nightclub. In partnership with K-W Poetry Slam and the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women, Gómez discussed his desire to use his voice to help end instances of violence. Since its inception in 1991, the White Ribbon Campaign has expanded its reach to over 55 countries worldwide. Notably, Tuesday’s performance fell on March 6, two days before March 8, International Women’s Day.
In an intimate workshop earlier the same day, students had the pleasure of caucusing and sharing viewpoints with Gómez on masculinity, misogyny and racism.
During the workshop, Gómez quoted famed author Noam Chomsky, saying, “The educated elite can be the most powerful demographic in the world.”
During the Turret performance, the audience congregated together to engage in a discourse on the problem of violence. Taking the stage, Gómez effectively communicated his passionate belief in the importance of men joining the movement.
Gómez’s prolific career is constantly expanding and the poet is currently enjoying the success of starring in HBO’s Def Poetry.
In an interview with The Cord, Gómez shared wisdom gained on his journey to success, saying, “It’s a hustle to be anything. Whatever you love to do and whatever you are passionate about, do that.”
“More and more of my work is deeply personal, about my life and my own experiences. I think when you share stories about your life that are really personal, they inherently resonate, regardless of how complicated and loaded their feelings may be,” said Gómez to The Cord.
A part of his Behind the Masc Tour, each poem performed on Tuesday night encompassed passion, generated incredibly thought provoking verses and recounted his personal experiences.
Gómez began his performance by urging the audience to take an introspective look at the emotion of love. Asking for a show of applause from those who were, or had previously been in love, Gómez proceeded to recite, “Everything,” a poem that accounted various euphoric experiences in an attempt to explain the beautiful feeling of love.
Telling the audience, “The curse of art is you have to write the whole thing,” Gómez recited the poem “Distinctly Beautiful,” a tragic re-telling of his teenaged female students who had constantly been victimized and oppressed by society.
“Me sharing my vulnerable and scary fragmented stories have been a way for me to connect with people,” explained the poet.
Gómez’s upcoming memoir “Man Up,” due this fall, attempts to deconstruct the archetypal portrayal of man through personal experience.
Gómez ended his powerful performance with the impactful poem “What is Genocide,” admittedly the most literal poem he has written. There was no lack of emotion as Gómez walked off the stage on the brink of tears.
“There is infinite power in following your path of passion, purpose and charisma.”