Christian Richardson has tapped into the root of the Spoken Word movement with this piece, ‘Negro‘. Loud, passionate, and revolutionary, Richardson holds nothing back in his authentic diatribe and look into his culture. Short and sweet, this piece is a spark waiting to light a greater fire to come.
Camil Williams is a recent transplant from Chicago just trying to settle into the Atlanta vibe. As a world traveler and troubadour, she is more than experienced in her art. I’m putting emphasis on the word ‘art’, because Williams is more than just a poet, she is an artistic powerhouse and renaissance woman.
She has performed and presented art workshops at a host of conferences, high schools, and universities; locally and abroad, as part of the women centered activist-performance duo, AquaMoon. Using Hip Hop Feminism as a tool for creating awareness and dialogue on issues that marginalize and affect women of color, the duo co-authored several choreopoems, including Love Does Not Hurt and Aqua Beats and Moon Verses Vol. I.
Williams has also authored and released her debut, Butta to Fly: a collection of poetry, art and music (2007). Her artworks have been featured in the Ascend: Live Art and Jazz Showcase and the Humboldt Park Art Exhibit in Chicago. She’s appeared in several short and full-length films, including The Lies We Tell and Secrets We Keep and the hit web series, Between Women. She also writes and produces music for commercials, films and stage productions.
Gemini season is upon us, and for some strange reason this season has birthed many of today’s beloved hip-hop favorites including Andre 3000, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur to name a few. Regardless of how much you may like or dislike these artists, there’s one undeniable trait that these artists have in common – the ability to be unapologetically true to themselves. This trait can occasionally have negative side effects, but little is greater than knowing who you are, your gifts and flaws, and still having the courage to share those intimate components of self with the world. “Black Rage”, a song by a hip-hop artist, actress, songstress, and Gemini, Lauryn Hill, gives us a glimpse of the importance of self-knowledge and courage on the societal level.
The artist is an activist, especially in the spoken word community.
More than once have the words of a poet changed my outlook on any number of social-political issues. In part, this is the beauty of the form. Those who know more than I do seem so willing to share their ideas all with the aim to better the world around them with their collective voices.
Recently I was in Charleston, SC for a Diversity Conference. The conference was taking place only days after the killing of Walter Scott in North Charleston. Needless to say, the conference was abuzz with the controversy.
Enter Omari Fox.
Fox arrived with a solemn face and reserved energy that afternoon. Having just attended Walter Scott’s funeral, he was a man drained, but unerring in his mission. (more…)