The recording description: In 2020 the Library of America selected 50 projects to receive grant funding to plan programming celebrating 250 years of African American poetry. The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Emerson Collective supported this initiative through the formation of Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters. The Beulah M. Davis Room was selected and recorded two sessions discussing African American poetry and healing and within African American theater. The discussion was moderated by Poet and Professor Kimberly A. Collins in conversation with Professor Emerita and the foremost August Wilson scholar Dr. Sandra Shannon and Poet and Professor Emeritus Dr. Eugene Redmond on African American theater. The other recording is Professor Collins in conversation with Poet and Professor Emerita Sonia Sanchez and Poet and Professor Dr. Tony Medina on poetry as healing for African American people. Initially intended for a live audience followed with a Q&A the pandemic shifted the platform – thus providing a larger audience. We hope the use of verse, resilience of African American poets/artisans, provides greater appreciation, clarity and understanding about the power of words. Enjoy.