Terrance Heath

White House Poetry Slam

Filed By Terrance Heath | May 17, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Eartha Kitt, esperanza spalding, First Lady, James Earl Jones, lin-manuel miranda, Michelle Obama, poetry, White House

The more I hear or read about Michelle Obama, the more I like her. The latest news about poetry night at the White House, and her reasons for holding it, are just one more reason.

First lady Michelle Obama says the White House is a place where people should feel free to speak their minds. To that end, she and President Obama welcomed actors, poets and writers to the East Room on Tuesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama attends the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington

The Obamas hosted a night of poetry reading and the spoken word featuring James Earl Jones, Esperanza Spalding and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The night also included musical interludes, modern poetry and excerpts from Shakespeare.

Mrs. Obama says the administration wants to make the White House available to everyone. She also wants performers to share their experiences.

The White House is a place where people should feel free to speak their minds? I don't know if Mrs. Obama had this particular story in mind, but somewhere Eartha Kitt -- who spoke her mind to another First Lady, regarding the Vietnam War, and suffered CIA surveillance and the Johnson administration's attempt to destroy her career as a result -- is smiling.

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I'll never forget when Jackie Kennedy invited Pablo Cassals to perform in the White House. And the wonderful tour she gave to a television audience! I say Michelle is right on!!!!

Do you think she'd invite me to be in one of the audiences at a reading?

What I wouldn't give to have been there to see a White House poetry slam...