Segments in this Video

Truth Underground: Three Poets Discover the Power of the Spoken Word— Introduction (02:07)


Hear a poem while viewing images of local landscapes.

CJ Suitt (02:37)

The Church is an integral part of Suitt's life. He reflects on what he learned about his identity as a black male. Suitt recites a poem.

Jeremy Berggren (01:44)

Berggren reflects on the knowledge held within his body; writing allows him to access it. Berggren recites a poem.

Kamaya Truitt-Martin (03:23)

Poetry workshops can help liberate an individual. Students, including Truitt-Martin, recite their poems.

Racial Divide (03:00)

Suitt recites a poem about minorities and class, and reflects on the spoken word. His mother Carolyn recalls listening to Suitt recite when he was young.

Facing Death (03:37)

Berggren smokes pot and runs through the woods. He joined the Marines in 1998 and prepared to go to war. He recalls his sergeant's suicide and his reaction. Berggren recites a poem on stage.

Writing Inspiration (02:55)

Truitt-Martin recites a poem about women. She reflects on moving from Atlanta to Durham, North Carolina and the content of her poetry. Truitt-Martin and her family look through old photo albums.

Poetry Readings (03:06)

In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, poets recite their works before a crowd.

Berggren's Sensitivity (04:05)

In Durham, North Carolina, Berggren recites a poem about PTSD. Jessica Kemp reflects on Berggren's personality, how he expresses himself, and his childhood.

Finding the Beat (02:22)

Berggren writes for his brothers and for Sgt. Dixon. He recites poetry in the shower.

Religious and Cultural Background (02:47)

Suitt recalls preachers "rapping" metaphors in church and his high school English teacher, Michael Irwin. He recites poetry on stage.

Poetry Reflects Diversity (02:49)

Will McInnerney states that poets articulate reality in unique ways. Several poets express their thoughts on stereotypes and race through their work.

Tell Your Story (03:24)

Kane Smego discusses the importance of expressing your story. Young artists compete in a poetry slam; Truitt-Martin wins a spot on the youth poetry slam team.

Brave New Voices (02:07)

The youth poetry team arrives to compete in the poetry slam festival. See images of various festival events.

Battling the Past (02:42)

Berggren recites a poem about a soldier who commits suicide. He reflects on his decision to become a Marine.

Suitt's Roots (03:13)

Suitt grew up in a trailer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Cleveland Suitt does not hesitate to discuss his son's poems he does not like. Suitt's main goal is to get students who do not share, to express themselves.

Moral Monday (01:17)

Suitt taught himself that his life matters and that sharing his story is important. Artists need to continue conversations after they get off the stage.

Art Comes from Passion (04:23)

Truitt-Martin's pain stemming from family issues is the crux of her poetry. She recites a poem on stage.

Poetry Slam (03:34)

Berggren felt welcomed at the slam. He and other poets recite their works on stage. Berggren attends Warrior Writers.

Warrior Writers (01:47)

Jenny Packinowski, Donte Wright, and Joseph explain why they participate in the veteran writers program. Berggren speaks for himself through his work.

Trouble Differentiating (03:00)

Berggren enjoys art for the sake of expression. He recites a poem. See images from his youth and time in the Marines.

Power of Voice (03:34)

Using his voice allows Suitt to create his reality. He recites some of his works and reflects on the religious lessons he learned from his family.

Cat's Cradle (02:30)

Suitt recites a poem about his world, religion, and having a voice.

Credits: Truth Underground: Three Poets Discover the Power of the Spoken Word (02:12)

Credits: Truth Underground: Three Poets Discover the Power of the Spoken Word

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Truth Underground: Three Poets Discover the Power of the Spoken Word

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The lives of three outspoken poets intersect as they harness the power of the word. CJ Suitt confronts the racial injustice of a Southern black male. Kamaya Truitt-Martin competes in poetry slams across the country to heal a broken home. Jeremy Berggren employs art and poetry to cope with PTSD and to bear witness to the suffering of veterans. The 19th-century poet John Keats said, “Truth is beauty,” and beauty is harsh.

Length: 69 minutes

Item#: BVL138087

ISBN: 978-1-64023-614-1

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.