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Inclusion and Diversity office of Winona State University joined forces with the College of Business to put on the Black on Both Sides event. The event included a session of poetry by Too Black and Tony Styxx, both originating from Indianapolis, Indiana. They shared what “Black on Both Sides” means to them, and answered questions during a Q&A session with students.

Tony Styxx, a poet and musical artist brought his passion and emotion to the stage. His poetry includes pieces describing his dreams and his struggles with racism. He talked about feelings he had to be a “superhero” because he had to endure pain that people have put him through and others not knowing that he is going through that pain. He became emotional while talking about putting on a vulnerability mask and being a “superhero” to survive. He also talked about how he found his purpose through poetry and being on stage.

Too Black, also a poet from Indianapolis, poured his emotions out on stage and spoke about how black excellence is about creating a better world. In his life his focus is leaving this Earth a better person than when he first arrived. His biggest motivators are his godson, niece, and nephew, and they give him purpose and inspiration for his poetry.

What Does Black on Both Sides Mean to you?

Black on Both Sides shows us that two people can share a bond and come from different sides. Too Black feels a sense of freedom when he writes.

Tony Styxx feels that he has to be two different people every day of his life. Poetry allows him to release on stage, while also feeling safe and at home.

Thank you to the Inclusion and Diversity office, as well as the College of Business, for bringing this experience to WSU students. It gave everyone an opportunity to expand personal perspectives on what can be considered a very heavy topic.

Do something because you desire it, not because people tell you to. 

Tony Styxx