Location: Walters’ Graham Auditorium
Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with special performances emceed and curated by poet and professor Unique Robinson. Robinson will kick off the program with a selection of poetry connected to the issues raised by MLK’s legacy, and then audiences can expect a mix of musical performances and poetry readings from Baltimore locals Esi Abercrombie, Kenneth Something, and Black Assets. Following the program, join the artists in the Cafe for a light reception.
ASL interpretation will be provided for the performances.
About the Artists:
Unique Mical Robinson is a poet, MC, and proud Baltimore City native. She received her MFA in English/Creative Writing from Mills College and a BA in Creative Writing/Black Studies from Hampshire College. Robinson has performed for 20+ years throughout the U.S. and Havana, Cuba, and upon returning home, began working as a teaching artist and administrator with various Baltimore nonprofits. She received the “Emerging Teaching Artist” Award from Arts Every Day in 2017. For six years, Robinson was a faculty member in MICA’s Humanistic Studies Department and is now the Director of MICA’s MFA in Community Arts Program. Unique graced the cover of Baltimore magazine’s GameChangers Issue in Fall 2022 and continues to perform, write, and inspire future artists. She has released a variety of books, zines, and musical projects, which are available on all streaming platforms.
Esi Abercrombie is a singer/songwriter, voice teacher, and DJ from Columbia, Maryland. She fell in love with singing at the mere age of 2. At age 9, she began performing at church, school functions, and karaoke venues until her voice granted her admission into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 2012. She has since become a professional DJ, performed in several queer events, including Baltimore Pride, and released her debut music project, Worth the Ride (EP), which is currently available on all music streaming platforms. As she progresses in her artistic journey, she hopes to use her voice to shed light on sociopolitical issues such as race and sexuality and is excited to be a part of such an honorable event that shares the goal of inclusivity and equity for marginalized groups.
Kenneth Something is a poet, playwright, educator, and organizer. However, they are best described as an artivist. Kenneth has been working and/or creating at the intersection of art and social justice for over ten years. They are a national poetry slam champion and were ranked third slam poet in the world in 2018. They are the author of two books, “Bricks and Dandelions” and “Baldwin Sent Me.” Currently, Kenneth spends their time as the program director for the Black Arts District as well as managing some of the biggest names in spoken word nationally.
Black Assets or Ashley Lakayla Yates, known as the queen of the soulful bounce, is a dynamic queer vocalist/singer-songwriter from Baltimore, Maryland, by way of Itta Bena, Mississippi, whose art is committed to reflecting the experience of Black people in the United States. She is an international recording artist and singer-songwriter bringing soulful vibes to over 20 different countries around the world, most recently Algiers, Taghit, and Bechar. She is the creator of The Living Room Social (TLRS), a platform for musicians and music-lovers in the Maryland area to make and experience music together. For the past three years, TLRS has curated over 75 shows, boasting loyal audiences of over 200 people per show. A natural leader, Black Asset’s music is directly rooted within her community, love, and life as she knows it—the good, the bad, and the indifferent.