October 6, 2017
By Kami Gothard
Photo by Katie Campton
“We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us,” is the slogan of the immigrant rights movement. David A. Romero, a Hispanic spoken word artist, used this quote during his poetry reading on Sept. 19 in the University of Montevallo’s own Farmer Hall to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Romero performed his work ranging from a humorous poem entitled “Cheese Enchiladas” to a political commentary piece entitled “Open Letter to Donald Trump.” Throughout the performances, there were fits of laughter as well as an abundance of snaps in agreement. Romero was not only enjoyable to watch, but also educational as he spoke of various times in history and current events from the Spanish conquest to the news of neo-Nazis.
When asked about his inspiration for his poetry Romero responded, “I’m inspired by people I meet and life experiences as well as family history—I remember growing up my dad would always take us to historical sites and a lot of times that would be a reflection upon terrible things that had happened in the past so you know what was cheap parenting on my father by not taking us to an amusement park really built this appreciation for history in me.”
Romero is considered a social justice activist which is evident in his poem “Undocumented Football,” a poem that shows the struggles of an undocumented immigrant who is at risk of being deported and always running. He often uses poetry to explain other cultures and ideals in an artistic way. When asked how this strategy is effective for his audiences he responded, “We tell truths, we tell facts and we tell our own personal experiences, but we do it through the use of metaphors. It’s art and like all art it’s interpreted, so it gives the audience or the reader various entry points to enter in and look at things from a different perspective.” Romero used the example of reading a great piece of science fiction that allows people to ponder theological issues in a way that we wouldn’t have otherwise.