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First Friday builds community through poetry and conversation

Section

THE FEED

Spending the evening with friends, community, good food, relaxing music and heartfelt poetry.
Mixing and mingling at LINC Up First Fridays

Mixing and mingling at LINC Up First Fridays


Isaac Norris Project

Isaac Norris Project /Michael Cook | Stellafly

Delicious spread at First Friday event.

Delicious spread at First Friday event. /Michael Cook | Stellafly

Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported

LINC Up First Friday is an event that LINC Community Revitalization, Inc. sponsors every first Friday of the month. On February the 3rd my granddaughter and I attended the First Friday event. This was my third time attending and my granddaughter's second. We set out to have a good evening together.   

The evening’s agenda was to mix and mingle and to share and enjoy. When we arrived the sounds of relaxing music filled the room. Live music was provided featuring THE ISAAC NORRIS PROJECT and they played old and new jazz arrangements.

There was a very nice buffet and a cash bar. In keeping with the theme, Mardi Gras 2012, many Creole dishes were prepared by Donald Everette with Sanchel’s. Later in the night, the mic was opened up for some spoken word. Two talented young ladies took the stage, reciting their own poems, and I must say we were in for a very nice treat.

One of the poets was my granddaughter. Her poem was so moving you could hear a pin drop in the room. Syreeta Nelson recited one that she had written, Crack Owes Me Reparations. She had a story to tell for she has lived through it. Doing so has given her positive structure and made her the person she is today. She continues to strive to spread the message of this poem for others to hear and to give them strength and encouragement to deal with this issue, along with family and friends.

I asked Syreeta why she wrote this poem and she replied, “I wrote this poem for many reasons. It started out as a purging process because I needed an outlet and I didn’t want to be consumed by pain and grief and because I love my parents and I can remember our relationship prior to the drugs. I embraced the fact that it has to be me; I have to be the one from among the people for I have witnessed the torment of addiction and I am not willing to allow anyone else to remain bound or die in this deception and most certainly not on my watch!”

This young lady also has given me and others so much strength with this poem to help them keep faith and to carry on and for that I thank her!

When we were leaving the LINC Development Center, a gentleman approached us and asked Syreeta if he could give her a hug, saying, “Ten years ago I was that father.”

This evening was one of the best evenings I’ve had for a long time.  

Come out and join us at the next First Friday Networking Event at LINC on March 2nd!


Gwendolyn Nathan

I have lived in Grand Rapids all my life and am very involved with my community. I hope to give back and hope in any way I can.

Reports on: Community involvement and changes happening within the community. I hope to make a contribution to my community by telling these stories.

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