CHS Open Mic Night Showcases Black Student Voices


Eve Livingood, Staff Writer


The Black Student Union and Graffiti Literary Magazine teamed up to put on an Open Mic Night showcasing the voices, visions, and art of Black students at C.H.S. As an attendee, I can say anyone who didn’t get to go missed out big time. Not to worry, the event can still be viewed on youtube (linked down below). Seeing works of art from other students is always important, but it is especially inspiring and uplifting during this weird time as we can’t enjoy making art together in school like we would in normal years. I interviewed Kaymin Hester, the Graffiti Lit Mag representative, and Camille Harold, the Black Student Union representative to get more information on how the event came to be.

Panelists smiling at open mic night


The open mic night was held via a zoom webinar on Saturday, February 27th, and left no audience member disappointed. Any performance genre was welcomed, including but not limited to music, poetry, visual works of art, and monologues. The event echoed the goal of CHS’s Graffiti Literary Magazine, “We aim to amplify the student body, the student bodies voices and their creative works.” said Hester. “I really wanted a chance initially to get the word out about Graffiti, but you know it’s black history month, so this just seemed like a really amazing opportunity to specifically amplify black voices and I’m really happy that the BSU got involved and that Mr.Becker has helped us out so much with this”.


Art by CHS senior Senora Goins
Art Shown In Event By CHS Senior, Senora Goins

Mr. Becker, the theater director at C.H.S, had been reached out to by Hester and helped out with communications between the two organizations and arranging the event. “I’m thrilled to be able to introduce to you our fabulous performers, [and] panelists,” Becker said as he opened the event .“And attendees, this should feel like we’re all here together in support of one another.” Although we were not physically together, there was still a sense of togetherness. The open mic night is an example of the creative ways we can build community in Charlottesville, even while living in a virtual world. The chat was left on, giving the audience the option to discuss and ask the panelists questions about their work. “I loved seeing all the support in the comments,” said Harold, “everyone was uplifting other’s work and it was great to see how confident the speakers were.”


“I heard about the event directly from students in my classes that were involved and from Mr.Becker,” Said Mr.Josselyn, an attendee, and teacher at C.H.S “The open mic night was fantastic! It felt so authentic and real in a time where nothing feels authentic. It was so wonderful to see an event that was student-organized, that’s something I’ve missed during virtual school. Students should definitely get involved or attend similar events in the future, it was so uplifting and fun”.


Open Mic event live recording:

(Cut to 35 mins just before the event begins)

Graffiti Literary Magazine Instagram: @graffitilitmag 

Graffiti Website:

Theatre CHS Instagram: @theatre_chs