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Thursday, August 18, 2022

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Cipriana Hudson Cipriana Hudson

Tapping Into Creativity for Final Project

SDSU student Cipriana Hudson sheds light on the racial elements of Shakespeare’s “Othello” through spoken word poetry.
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University professor Peter Herman encouraged students to get as creative as they wished with the final project in his fall semester Shakespeare (ENGL 533) course.

Third-year English major and Africana studies minor Cipriana Hudson took the assignment to heart and melded her love of poetry, music, and performance to present a compelling final project in video form, shedding light on the racial elements of Shakespeare’s “Othello” and her experiences as a young Black woman.

In Cipriana’s Words —

Growing up, I have always found an interest in reading and writing short stories and poems. Writing poems has always come natural to me. I have heard of “Othello” before, but have never actually read the play in full until this class. 

WATCH: "Othello Couldn't Win Either Way"

During the semester we were also granted the honor of watching the play “American Moor” by Keith Hamilton Cobb. These two works were my favorite moments of the semester and I related to them heavily. 

As a young Black woman in our current society, I have dealt with my fair share of prejudice, oppression and profiling, and I wanted my project to shed light onto important racial elements of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” 

I wanted my audience to understand a different dimension of Othello's character and to portray the impact his race played into his downfall. I also tried my best to relate Othello's plight to the struggles of many Black men and women in contemporary settings.

Furthermore, the poem is characterized as spoken word, and I wanted the video to have the tone of a poetry slam. I love R&B and jazz music, and I believe the background music allowed the poem's message to become much more powerful. The rhythm of the music (by Akua Naru) complements the poem well and impacted how it was read.