Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who is best known for playing Theo in “The Cosby Show,” hosted a Jazz Night and Poetry Lounge on Feb. 8, sponsored by the African-American Alumni Association in honor of Black History Month.
Warner read three poems during the event, one of which was a poem called “Sprung,” about his experience in a long-term relationship.
Other performers included students, faculty and alumni. Most of the performers read original poetry, such as Patric Verrone ’13, who read his poem “The Lovers of Valdaro,” and Jessica Murdock ’14 who shared her poem, “A Running Dream.” On the other hand, Senior Alumni Officer Harry Salamandra read the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise” and Jensen McRae ’15 sang her original song “Skinny.” A student jazz ensemble also performed.
At the event, Abby Harris ’94, president of the Harvard-Westlake African-American Alumni Network, announced that they had gotten a $50,000 challenge to initiate a scholarship for African-American students at Harvard-Westlake to supplement financial aid. HWAAN pledged to match that: the board will donate $20,000 and members will donate an additional $30,000 in order to match it.
Richard said that if the event was a success they would consider planning another for next year.
“The event went extremely well,” Richard said, “Malcolm- Jamal Warner was an excellent host, the turnout was great and each performer was amazing.”
Harris said they would think about doing another next year, and Warner said that he would be interested in hosting again.
Around 70 people attended the event, with 12 acts performed throughout.