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The Journal - Passionate speech for Latino community at UIS

Camilla Luo

Oct 4, 2017

David A. Romero, a Mexican-American spoken word artist, poet, and activist came to UIS Sept. 26 to give his performance entitled “The Latinx Giant."

Romero is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) and the second spoken word artist to be featured on All Def Digital, a YouTube channel by Russell Simmons. He has performed at over 60 colleges and universities in over 20 states and his performances revolve around Latino rights.

Romero began his passion for activism while he was a student at the University of Southern California (USC), where he worked as the leader of the Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation (SCALE). After graduating in 2007, he continued his work as an activist the consumer interest-group CALPIRG. 

His artistic interests lie in spoken-word poetry, an oral art form that focuses on the musical qualities of the spoken word. His poems are largely influence by his work as an activist a well as his experiences growing up as the son of two Mexican-American working-class parents. 

Romero has three self-published volumes of poetry, which blends both politics and humor. His works revolve around his own feelings of alienation from the Latino community. He refers to himself as a “pocho,” or a Latino who identifies more with mainstream American culture than what is expected by his Latin American heritage.

One notable poem during his performance discussed the portrayal of the Latino community based on one of Trump’s campaign speeches in which he said Mexican immigrants “have lots of problems” and are bringing “drugs [and] crime” to the United States. 

Romero’s poem, entitled “Open Letter to Donald Trump,” focuses on the way that marginalized communities are affected by the Trump administration, and how many immigrants are unsure of their future in the United States. Romero usually tries to inject humor into his poetry, but noted that this poem was especially difficult to make funny and he had to edit it numerous times.   

Patrick G Anderson, an academic skills specialist at the Learning Hub and a Latino immigrant, loved the performance and how Romero shared his serious artistic creativity with the public. Anderson was impressed with how Romero blended his meaningful poems in Latin American history, geography, and culture with plenty of evidence and data to support his creative muses. 

“Romero’s intelligent and unique voice is not only for Latinx, but also for many “underrepresented and disenfranchised groups in the ‘land of free’,” Anderson said. 

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