Bakersfield College welcomes speaker Jimmy Santiago Baca


Diana Coronado

Jimmy Santiago Baca reading one of his many poems about the struggles he faced at a younger age.

Alexis Pedroza, Reporter

Bakersfield College welcomed guess speaker, Jimmy Santiago Baca on April 4 in the Levan Center for the Humanities. The event had two different times one taking place in the morning at 10 a.m. and the other was at 7 p.m. This presentation was open to the public and included free admission.

The event was introduced by BC Faculty member Jack Hernandez, who gave a brief blurb about how thankful they were to be able to have this presentation for everyone; then called Baca up to speak.

Baca greeted everyone and proceeded to talk about his accolades and accomplishments as a poet and writer. He mentioned how people perceive him differently depending on where they are from, he even joked about how most Americans nowadays do not appreciate poets.

“When I tell people I’m a poet, they reply with so you’re a lazy bum who doesn’t want to work,” Baca said jokingly. He also told the audience that he writes because he really enjoys it and doesn’t need notoriety.

Baca made a clear acknowledgement that April 4 was the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination. He explained the importance of MLK’s work throughout the years and the progress we have made in society.

Baca then read a few of his poems that he wrote about oppression and overcoming the struggles in life.

Afterwards he talked about how his own experiences and how it has shaped him into the person he is today. “I like when someone challenges me intellectually,” Baca said.

He also mentioned how over the years he has helped those who are not good writers become proficient in writing, even going as far as hosting his home as a sanctuary for those who want to learn.

Baca then introduced his book “A Place to Stand” which is his memoir and details how the written word helped him through life. After he read a few excerpts people were able to ask questions and talk to him as well.

Attendee Christian Perez mentioned how he enjoyed the presentation. “I really liked hearing his experiences as a writer,” Perez said, “I also enjoyed his poems.”

The event wrapped up shortly after the questions and Baca thanked everyone in attendance.