The Color of Drums at EMU

Founded in 2001, Poetry Society hosts The Color of Drums (TCOD) in Pease Auditorium annually. The Color of Drums was initially founded by a Poetry Society old-head; “Blake”. TCOD is the only staged event on campus where modern poetry and acting collide. This TCOD cycle, There were 8 skits guided by different titles, Crossing Lines, TRIGGER WARNING, 6 Feet, Watch the Throne, Masterpiece, Doors Up, and RockStars. This year, The Color of Drums was completely dedicated to honor the legacy of Tiran Maion Burell, a poetry society old-head who recently passed away at 29. To break the skits up, there was a halftime performance given by the Diversion Dance Troupe (Poetry Society’s sister org) and the Alpha Phi Alpha (The Fraternity Tiran pledged). TCOD works this way: the theme is declared by the MLK committee and then PS has a sub theme for the show itself. This is also the biggest show for PS. Our newbies who plan to earn membership in PS tend to do their first major show with us after months of grounded group work.

This event impacted my life because Tiran was the closest thing I had to a black hero. Without Tiran, my experience at EMU would be completely different. Tiran was the coordinator of BrotherHOOD, a coalition Living Learning Experience with the mission to further extend wisdom. BrotherHood provides resources for black boys from underprivileged communities or families, and assists them with navigating the college experience. Tiran was also a prominent member of the EMU Poetry Society (PS) and the reason I was introduced to PS. This show was dedicated to him because Tiran is a legacy in and of itself, as he has done 7 TCOD cycles which is the most done in PS ever. Tiran also helped me get my first real job, which was working in the Office of Urban Community Development and International Outreach in Porter. I was fortunately able to work on most of my poetry and learn more about professionalism. With Tiran, it feels like a part of me no longer exists. But in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, it is a timeless necessity to reflect on not only the famous figures who paved road the way as activists, but also the black role models who made the road easier to travel down.

About the Writer

Hello! My name is Mack Colston Jr. and I am a junior at EMU. Although I am actively involved in Poetry Society, I also enjoy singing and playing my guitar.