by Ben Sher
Today, we set are sights west and headed from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The ride was long, but the mountainous desert scenery kept it interesting. We also stopped for brunch at a 1950s themed diner and watched the movie “Crash” on the bus, which takes place in LA.
Once we arrived in LA, we visited Homeboy Industries. Homeboy Industries is a rehabilitation and job training center for people recovering from gang life. It was truly amazing seeing how these people were able to set aside their differences, and work on themselves and their futures. Having bloods and crips in the same room seems like a recipe for disaster, but because they know that they are here for themselves and not for their gangs, they can work their problems out. This was very special to witness.
After Homeboy Industries, we went to a farmers market with a variety of cuisines. We had a lot of free time there, so we could get dinner, walk around, and meet up with family. After everyone was finished with what they were doing, we headed to a poetry slam. Before going in, we reflected on the last couple days in Las Vegas and learned some history behind Slam Poetry and its connection with rap music.
I had personally never been to a poetry slam, so it was a new experience for me. When we arrived, I was blown away from all of the talented artists in the room. Performances included everything from rap to monologues, and it was exquisite. This poetry slam will most certainly not be my last. All and all, it was an amazing day.