On Tuesday, October 25, with warmth, wit, and good humor, Austin-based slam poet Andre Bradford, aka S.C. Says, asked our students in Grades Four through Twelve, and later a group of parents, to stop and think about racism, empathy, and kindness. In age-appropriate assemblies spread throughout the day, Mr. Bradford, using his poetry, shared his experiences of navigating life as a 32-year-old Jamaican-Mexican who has suffered from mental health issues himself, and emphasized the importance of connecting with others who may have backgrounds different from your own.
Mr. Bradford began performing live at the age of 15 through his high school’s theater program and then went on to study acting at the USC School of Theatre before moving to Austin, Texas. In 2014, he discovered a talent for slam poetry and has performed his poetry at schools, universities, and other venues across the country ever since.
“I aspire to provide a show that leaves my audience captivated, moved, and motivated,” said Mr. Bradford.“My mission is to create more empathetic communities and cultures using artistry and spoken word.”
He elaborated to his audiences, “Something about hearing another human being having the same hurt, same struggles, maybe even the same goals and desires actually starts to bring us closer to that person. We start to develop these really strong emotions like trust, appreciation, maybe even love. And these emotions are what help us develop the connections we need with the people around us to help us get through life.”
Mr. Bradford has the very special ability to connect with audiences of all ages and they seemed to embrace his message. Tracy Wymer, Assistant Head of Lower School said, “Both the Fourth and Fifth Graders enjoyed the presentation, but the Fifth Graders were especially in tune with him. His personal experiences resonated with them. He successfully exemplified the power of storytelling through poetry.”
Click here to learn more about Mr. Bradford and his work.