STRONG, POWERFUL & BOLD
The weight of the world carried in her womb
Built a nation on her back for others to consume
And then you assume that she is not worthy of the benefits of her sacrifice
As she screams out All My Life I had to fight
she slaved in the fields so that we could be free
She worked in factories so that we could have a college degree
So I ask you today what will your legacy be?
She speaks Hebrew, Spanish, English, Swahili, Slavic
She is universal, religious, wicken, cosmic
Will you walk hand in hand into the rising of the sun or will you succumb
I say no never that, because we are stronger than that
I say no never that, because I was birthed through the hips of a woman who survived slave ships and whips for simply being Black
My history is no mystery the stories been told
I've inherited these traits that's why I am strong, powerful and bold
The Playaz Club
When she grow up she gone dance like Diamond
Stolen DVD’s and DVD Players already had her in the line up
She would never know when time’s up
Yea, she gone be a Diamond
So they ask questions and prepare
The directions they share, she doesn’t complain about life not being fair
They grew her up to be a Diamond, things got rough
She call the shots, no bluff, anything for a dollar
Other than that why bother, you ever sell your soul
For a life that is not better than your own
Give away Sunday meals, hugs and Kisses
All because of stole DVD’s and DVD players
She was meant to be a Diamond
I guess that means she’s the prettiest
Reading, writing, career, she’s a Barbie
Find her for free, hardly, she was raised to be a Diamond
She made herself rough you can find her at the bookstore
Or somewhere eating sushi who got they eye on a dollar
When they make enough to wear Gucci
Who would sell their soul for a chance to just grab it
She was always going to be a Diamond
Worth more than dollars and a bad habit
You Can’t Play With My YoYo
She couldn’t really explain it
But she remembered the time a man grabbed her waist
Slapped her face and told her to bend over
He had no other way of knowing
The confines, the timelines, the breeders, the Laborers
Let’s Play A Game, they wonder what you Saw
Slapped down and then kissed on the forehead
“You know I don’t mean to hurt you”
That was the language she knew, she had no other way to teach me
Other than to send me into the wild, learn the way she had
The teachers words never made sense
What is a slap, what is a war, what is virginity, what is masculinity
If you have never experienced it before, how can I protect what’s mine
When I’ve already been told it doesn’t belong to me
Free, how can you grow up knowing
Showing, Telling, Smiling, Thriving, Hiding
I’ll let you know when and if it’s okay to play with my yo yo
For Little Black & Brown girls
Who smile when their fro's are gone
Taught to never let their fro’s grow long
Black women, their invisible part leaves them
You can be Malaysian, Peruvian, Brazilian
Anything but Black, given the addiction of the creamy crack
Ponytails don't puff they poof, Into thin air
Strands of thin straightened hair
For Little Black & Brown girls
Who never got to rock rough and tough
I remember the day they permed my Afro puffs
I sit quietly
She is Janet in Poetic Justice
She is Jada in Set It Off
She is a little Black & Brown girl
Who grew up and revived herself at all cost
How much is it worth to you?
--$140 plus four packs of hair.
She refused to be invisible.
Consider her braids, office wear.
She is professional
She is vibrant
She is everything she ever wanted to be
And she even shows love to her queens who choose to rock their fro’s in between weaves
To Let it breathe
she remembers the Revlon commercial with
the woman with the long blonde hair
she was 6
Her hair was nappy
And They hot combed that shit
The grease burned her scalp
But all they could see
Was that there was no real place in the world
For little girls with Afros or braids with beads
She grew up
Cut it off
They thought she was crazy
Stripped herself of the lies,
they told with their eyes
And now her reflection is a blessing
She stares so hard
Sometimes she feels paralyzed
Her crown is her glory
She sends the praises up
For all the little Black & Brown girls
Who grew up
And learned not to give a fuck
The wage slavery is real
But the wage slaves purchase the things they want
And never fully know how to feel
They will argue with you that they are free
And I will remember what Harriet said,
"I've freed hundreds of slaves and could have freed hundreds more had they known they were slaves". And I will remember that slaves came in all shapes, colors and sizes.
They will argue with you that they are not blind
Spend their lives running out of money
Still trying to to buy time
And never understand what they can truly possess
They will argue that they have no masters
And we watch as they report to duty
Sometimes mindless, have you checked the data
Maybe they'll think you're just a "hata"
They will argue that their thoughts have not been stolen, that their bodies have not deteriorated from the stress and mental breakdown of a system that will tell you time and time again that it was not designed for you to fail, like when you do not read the rules before starting a game of Monopoly
A system that was designed for you to participate in a way that benefits the oppressor, what's your stressor?
I was told that the master's tools cannot dismantle the master's house, but if I master the master... whose house is it really?
Have you dressed up in the oppressors clothes and called it equality?
Has the master dressed you.... and does your parking sticker make you feel...worthy?
I remember the first time I decorated my desk....I remember the day I felt suffocated and left...?
They will say they are not slaves
However, what would you do without the wage
Phone in hand
Waiting on Your vibration
Will your message take me higher
Do you get butterflies when you see my name
Heart eye emojis that drive you insane
Or do I type on this keyboard in vain
Are you sending me the 'I'm bored text'
Only hit me up when you're trying to avoid your ex
Got me killing time while you waiting on your next
Do my kissy face innuendos make you smile
Make you wanna chill for a while
Or are you 'all text'
I'm trying to get that face to face time
But in the meantime
My favorite memories start with a dampened washcloth and exquisite tray
Other than that I ran wild with the other project kids,
except for when my mother said I couldn’t go outside to play
I’m not really in charge of who was birthed
through the womb of addicts and abused mothers
My spirit is a doula so I know to rip out the placenta before a fetus has to Stevie Wonder
When other kids show signs of a life much different than ours
And if we attack they will tell us that our parents were cowards
Who let their hands out to be shackled, who bent over to sniff the crack
And when the kids who are poorer than us point out the thing that we missed, we diss, we dismiss, we remiss
It is our addicted abused mothers that we never forget to kiss
Their story is our entry
Their life is their own
There are pieces of our existence that will forever be unknown
There are some in the grave
Some whose bodies stay to dwell
Their habits so ingrained in the system
They stick around and take care of you like family
And when my presence announces the truth they can’t stand me
There stands the spirit of a broken crack man, a prostitute, a pimp and his hoe, well you know how that go'
If the system hadn’t told them to be called mother, many would have said no
We would have wandered the streets
Many would say we already did
We are diamonds in the rough
The one’s master’s remorse hid
She grew out of the wilderness
Which is why her version of the story doesn’t exist
She dislikes corner boys dressed in suits
Her agency is what they dismiss
She would choose hate
But she learned from Coretta it would only cause injury
She cries when the captured men hold high Black Power fist
Only to appease their capturers and expose those in the movement
The ones who would do anything for their next feed
The ones who would kill not to lose it by creed, no good deed
The ones who pack themselves like the psychic trauma of chattel cramped in the Amistad, they say crabs in the barrel,
She says they cleave out of need to chain themselves
They hang themselves and the ones with free eyes
Dislike being near the offspring of the master, when they say “well what do you want me to do now”, they’ve already done it to themselves
Like when you can’t chit chat over lunch without someone correcting your grammar, while having a below average standard
Like when you get scolded by a superior for not accepting sexual advances, She thinks it would be a fun date
Like when you choose to be sober and notice that only when intoxicated do they find themselves void of the pain
Yes, it is okay to have a drink
However, they can no longer understand the literature once they do
It is like knowing you can wear braids and afros here
However, someone keeps giving you the two finger tap
Like, when you are constantly two seconds away from parading around in someone else’s slavery, someone else's handcuffs, someone else’s emancipation
You see they can’t understand why I behave as if I have always been free
They dismiss my smiles and laughter while I drink from the water fountains that have no signs
I have not fought their fights, but I have fought mine
Can You Handle It
Can I Go There With You
Can You Break Down the Vernacular
Understand When God’s Gift Is Spectacular
When Galaxies of One Hundred Billion Stars Com-bust
Can You Handle When Trust Is A Must
Can You Handle “It”
Can I Go There With You
He picked her
Yin, she was his feminine energy and he was her Yang..... ...
Creative, Universal, Heaven
Reminded her of ancestral pathways...
Had her scent hit the motherland....
How often had she been culturally appropriated
Nothing about her was artificial
.....Noble in all her ways
How many times have you been picked by Wolves?
Her petals protecting her sacred spaces
.....Pure in all her ways
He loved the smell of her culture....
It just seemed appropriate.
He picked her.
She was ego and he was something like her altar.
She practiced him religiously
Life shifting, sacrifice giving.
Only for the purposes of divine connection.
She was formed in perfection
Sent as his intervention
Escaping the mind, her prison.
He showed her how to start livin’
She rested her head upon his holy table.
Deep breathes, no rest
Appreciating that, for her, he had risen.
How many times had he been forced to rise
With no intention for his destiny.
Lustful eyes, shaking hips, seducing the enemy.
She let his head rest on her bosom,
This is a friend to me.
This is not war.
This is a dance.
How many times has he been in battle,
Unable to recognize a warrior's stance.
How many times has he risen just for the sake of it.
She caused him to rise
to see what they could make of it.
They will weigh in on your journey with their opinions--
But you go ahead and just keep easing on down the road, don't you carry nothing that might be a load
There will be pit stops and danger
Their will be friends and their will be strangers
...Who will hold your hand
...Who will walk with you
And then continue on a path that is their own
Don't worry, you will find your home.
Some will cast judgement
Not realizing that the judgement is a reflection
of their inner being
Searching for pieces of
themselves that have gone missing
Your journey, what is the meaning?
--what parts of you have you killed.
They will notice the shiny shoes,
But who will regard the spirit of the wicked witch whose body passed away
Where did her soul go to stay?
Who will wonder what turned her to her wicked ways?
--will they just celebrate
And keep easing on down the road
Because sometimes the nurturing, catering and changing of wicked ones
Is too heavy a load.
What part of yourself have you killed
In fear of what it looks like to be healed.
Running when all you have to do is,
There was a chance that she had
never felt love before
That physical bodies absent of spirit had danced around her
forming words from their lips
that were hard for her to comprehend
She was slow to lust and even slower to love
She worried that by the time her heart showed up
he would be gone
He would say that he had waited to long
That he had called when he was on his way
And when he arrived she forgot to shout out the front door that she wasn't ready, whatever ready means most likely to someone else
or that she would be there soon according to a calendar or a clock
Too kiss his lips under the full of the moon
She always noticed when he arrived
Her heart was still trapped inside a chastity belt
He caused emotions that she had never felt
She wondered if she was “woman” enough
Was she ready to reveal the secret parts of her
that she had been taught to hide, she had arrived in broad daylight
Could she show him new life without reprimand
from a soul that once felt like it died with hearts opened wide
Was she ready for him to arrive
Without question, without suggestion, without perfection
Vulnerable, she never learned to be ready in her time
To share the intimate details of her existence, she drinks wine
To experience moments she never had experienced
To make commitments
To be broken
To be open
To be broken open
To trust that someone would help to fix the pieces, bring her new ones
instead of putting the old ones back together, to be shattered forever
She constantly carried broken pieces to be sewn
pieces that were not her own
She wanted to show him how much she had grown
But he had never known her past, according to who
So this was all he knew
his Cinderella, according to you
But she never had the courage to lose her shoe
She could not hear
She could not see
She could not feel
She wanted to hear
She wanted to see
She wanted to feel
Was she just another chic on the hit list, brims, rims and broken limbs
She never learned to be a savage but she was at times, she is fine
you needed me
Cliche, protege, sashay
Too tame, yet too untamed at the same time, she's fine
She didn't want to write poetry, she wanted to share her truth
She wanted to write love letters across his chest, unbutton his vest
To dance with his spirit, to sit by you
present with his physical body, captivated times two
Like raindrops, fallen temptations, a good thing
She wanted to cleanse his soul and leave him in love with her mood swing
Wipe away the impairments from his vision that cause side view decisions
so he could see if this is a mission, a prison, a victim, a commission
This imperfect face of sleeping beauty
This imperfect body on a call to duty
This imperfect soul that seeks loyalty
This imperfect heart revered as royalty
Can you see her in all her glory, she was always waiting for you
with life interruptions that should have wrecked her, they perfect her, correct her, she has never lived like there is no such thing as a bloody nose and a black eye, as if heal and forgiveness aren't words
She has always had the ability to tell the difference between a love at war and a relentless fight, even when she wasn't ready
The motion is in the ocean
The movement comes with devotion
The sound of the wind
Indicates the right notion
I paint with all the colors
Of a Goal Digger, wondering whose role is bigger
And all that I am, the bread and the butter
Is a manifestation of rigor, knowing when to pull the trigger
When you understand long division
Multiplied by a catering decision
Peripheral vision, with award winning precision
The ultimatum, the task to fate them
No way to replace them, too scared to face them
Expansion, companion, timeless as a phantom
There is something worth stating about a victor
Intergrational growth of doing the most
Land of the free, home of the brave
Type of oath, arguments that become a toast
Proposals that make no sense to say no too
As in what you have sat with your legs crossed for
Tied both shoes together, forever more, on one accord
The uncensoring satisfaction of love from the core
Vivid images of those who have done less than satisfactory wanting more
They would kill the thing I love, yet swing blindly out of cognition
They tell lies with blind eyes when they say they can't picture us
They have never stayed, paved or engaged only betrayed what is rigorous
Lytasha Marie is a writer, educator, motivator, social justice advocate, mother and lover of words. Lytasha Marie has been featured on stages with literary and activist legends such as Nikki Giovanni, Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, Ericka Huggins and the late Dr. Maya Angelou. Lytasha won the University Presidents Award, Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa Service Award, Inspirational Leader Award, Ms. Heritage Ball and was a Bellinger Youth Awards recipient all within her four years of college. She was also presented with numerous other acknowledgments and accolades that responded to the heart of her contributions to society through her lived experience, education and community involvement. Lytasha Marie has been a featured keynote, performer, panelist and workshop presenter for organizations including the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Community Foundation For Greater New Haven, Bridgeport Arts Fest, Housatonic Community College, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, Westfield State University, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women, Jack and Jill of America, Inc, Village Initiative Project, Start Bank, Brunch & Conversations, The Big Hat Brunch, Women's World Event, MaRouge Publicity, Live Girl, Inc, Butterflies With Voices, Women's Empire, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sacred Heart Academy, Cheshire Academy, Newark Freshman Collegiate Institute, African American Women's Summit, Youthful Haiti Project and more. Her goal is to help the next generation to use writing and creating as a therapeutic outlet to discuss the issues that they face within their lives and communities.Living authentically and moving at one's own pace is the underlying message in all that she does. She realized at a young age that there was a lot of injustice in the world. After being kicked out of class in the 7th grade for "talking back". She used poetry as a tool to address the issues that mattered most to her and express what she was experiencing. Lytasha is most known in her local community for her passionate and moving piece entitled "I Refuse" which captures her frustration as well as determination to create a better world for herself and her community. In high school Lytasha was finalist in the McDonald's Gospel Fest and performed at the Harbor Yard Area for an annual basketball game. She speaks fluently on the topics on Intersectionality, Being Silenced, Reclaiming your Power, Lyrical Analysis, Hip Hop Feminism, Media Literacy and Young Women's Leadership. She has writings featured in The Professional Black Woman: Career, Relationships and Self Esteem edited by Linda Ellis Eastman , Black Women Speaking From Within; Essays and Experiences in Higher Education edited by Kelly K. Hope,and online magazine's The Feminist Wire and Gibbs. Lytasha was featured in a "Upstander Not Bystander" Portrait Project designed by Alisha Martindale.
She has a Bachelors in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Media Studies and a M.A. in Women's Studies. During her graduate studies she focused on Programming and Curriculum Development for a women and girls initiative she started through a mini grant she received in 2008. The focus of the curriculum centers on critical thinking and leadership with activities around challenging stereotypes, sexual violence & harassment, choice/decision making, body image and more. Her special project centered on creating and implementing her signature program, "She's A B.O.S.S.-- Beyond Ordinary Setting the Standard" which focuses on young urban women ages 14-25 which aims to celebrate the stories, lives and experiences of young women, while providing access to information and resources that will enhance their development as emerging leaders in the community. The curriculum is currently being evolved to include a portion for middle school girls called Girls X_Clusive and young men titled Boss Boys. Through She's A B.O.S.S.-- Beyond Ordinary Setting the Standard she has coordinated several Hip Hop Feminist Summits hosted at the local public library, a Braids and Beads Initiative to promote healthy hair and fundamental reading skills and several workshops and embedded developmental resources for community members. Ms. Lytasha Marie has organized events such as The Baby Mammalogues that featured women poets expressing stories of motherhood and child-raising to encourage growth, healing and community building. One of her ultimate goals is to become a Lifestyle Coach, complete a documentary and publish books of her own. Check out her poetry and blog themed "The Moment You Open Your Two Lips".