February is Black History Month – a history that honors black activists, leaders and, yes, poets.

The Black Cultural Programming Committee will present The Strivers Row Poetry Slam in celebration of Black History Month tonight at 7 p.m. in the UC Auditorium.

BCPC aims to bring events to UT's community that enhance public awareness of African-Americans and their accomplishments locally and internationally.

The poetry event happening Monday has been created in order to celebrate the impact poetry has had on the African-American community of the university.

"Poetry gives listeners the opportunity to hear a common message in a real and fresh way," Marlon Johnson, graduate research assistant for the Black Cultural Center, said.

Strivers Row is an artist management and talent relations agency that specializes in spoken word artists. The organization currently represents Miles Hodges, Joshua Bennett, Alysia Harris, Carvens Lissaint, Zora Howard and Jasmine Mans.

The Strivers Row group will be the featured performer of the evening. These spoken word artists have performed in many well-known venues, including the NAACP Image Awards, Sundance Film Festival, Poetry Africa and Sundance Film Festival to President Obama's Evening of Music and Poetry at the White House.

"(I am) committed to the uplift of those peoples too often marginalized and not often enough celebrated," poet Zora Howard wrote on the Strivers Row website. "Through word and action. My work is in praise of all of our beauty and all of our ugliness too."

The audience can expect extremely moving stories from the group including messages of racial discrimination, homophobia and poverty.

"Issues they talk about are relevant to people at the event such as domestic violence, relationship and love," Johnson said. "These are messages (the BCPC) has tried to send, but they are heard by the audience in a new way."

Admission is free and the doors will open at 7 p.m. For more information contact Marlon Johnson at mjohn184@utk.edu.