The Hispanic Cultural Center welcomed poet and educator Denice Frohman to APSU on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
Her performances have received millions of views on YouTube, and multiple publications, including ESPN and The Huffington Post, have featured her work.
She was invited to the first Latinas in the U.S. Summit, a White House initiative to highlight the conditions faced by hispanic women and girls in the U.S. Frohman has been praised for exploring intersections of race, gender and sexuality in her work.
She uses powerful imagery in her poetry.
“I am really just trying to paint a picture, and that is what poetry is asking us to do. Everyone was [not] there when that thing happened to you, so how can you recreate it using very specific language?” Frohman said.
Frohman recognizes that students may not feel comfortable with being as expressive as she is, or even embracing their own racial heritage.
“It takes time, and it takes a lot of self-reflection about how we exist in the world, and how the world kind of navigates around us,” Frohman said. “I think that happens once you have a deeper understanding of history, of identity politics, of the way in which America’s story is not just one of freedom and liberation but one also of injustice and making certain people feel like they do not belong.”
Frohman embraces her identity as an LGBT Hispanic woman of color.
“It is important to broaden the conversation about social justice so that we understand how nuanced, complicated and messy these sensitive issues can be,” Frohman said.
“Amazing,” sophomore sociology major and President of the Feminist Majority Leadership Nilda Maldonado said, to describe the performance. “I connected with the speaker over our similar Hispanic upbringing.”
Trish Campbell-Roberts, sophomore Political Science major and member of the Hispanic Cultural Club, is a nontraditional student. She utilizes the Hispanic Cultural Center to help her stay in touch with the community.
“I received a flyer, and I had no idea about what to expect. That is why I sat in the back, and after listening I said ‘wow’. A lot of things just clicked,” Campbell-Roberts said.
Coordinator for the Hispanic Cultural Center Louise Mitchell arranged Frohman’s visit.
“We want to provide a safe place for students of different backgrounds,” Mitchell said. “I look at the whole picture to ensure that we are doing the best that we can for the University to be inclusive.”
The Hispanic Cultural Center is located in the Morgan University Center room 213. The center is available to students of all cultural backgrounds.
More information about Denice Frohman can be found on her website at www.denicefrohman.com.