Click here to view the video for Hannah Flores’ “What Does History Sound Like?”
Ever since she was able to write, Hannah Flores expressed her thoughts in written form. Whether it be poems or haikus, her thoughts flowed from pencil to paper but the restrictiveness of those formats never allowed the physical form of her expression to be perfectly encapsulated.
Seeking a better way, Flores was introduced to the art of spoken word by her teacher and her big turning point came when she did an extra class project for Black History Month and posted her first spoken word poem, “What Does History Sound Like?” on YouTube, highlighting the contributions of those past and present in the Black community who have contributed to advancing society.
“That turned everything around on the best note for me,” Flores said. “I found it very freeing that it was free verse and I could actually do whatever I wanted. I could write about what I was feeling. And I could hone in on my emotions and topics that I was passionate about. And that’s where I started falling in love with writing, spoken word poetry, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Just finishing up high school in Markham, Flores is among three finalists—including illustrator and designer Julius Campbell as well as graphic designer and photographer Trae Nguyen—of the Welcome Toronto Creators Program, an incubator established by the Toronto Raptors and OVO to help identify emerging BIPOC creators and artists. Each finalist was assigned one Welcome Toronto game, during which their story and art would be showcased across the Raptors’ social media platforms and during the broadcast.