Brandon Leake brought spoken-word poetry to many Americans for the first time.
And it won't be the last.
Brandon, an academic advisor at San Joaquin Delta College, was voted the winner of the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent" late Wednesday, thanks in part to votes cast by the public. Brandon beat out dozens of musicians, comedians, and magicians.
The Record labeled it a "historic" victory for the Stockton poet, who "collapsed on the floor in an outburst of joy."
Through his poems, Brandon told stories of his father and of his baby daughter, and described what it's like to grow up as a Black man in America. The emotionally stirring performances had a clear impact on the judges and, it would seem based on the voting, the public as well.
"Spoken word poetry had alreay picked up a huge 'W' in this," Brandon told fans on social media prior to Wednesday's competition. "The fact of the matter is, poetry was never on the stage like this before, but now we are and they can't take that away."
In an email late Wednesday, Delta College Superintendent/President Dr. Omid Pourzanjani praised Brandon for "taking a chance and following your dreams," and for touching the hearts of colleagues and community members.
"We are all extremely happy for you," Dr. Pourzanjani wrote.
According to Parade Magazine, as the winner Brandon walks away with a $1 million prize, a new car and a headline show in Las Vegas.