Honoring Black History Month

As spoken word artists and creators and humans we need to be creating space for conversations to grow, and not just ones that feature our own voices. Each February I try to take Black History Month as a reminder of how I should live throughout the year - to check my privilege, listen to the stories of others, and realize that I have so much more to learn always. There are so many voices out there that don't get heard or seen they way they should. We own it to our communities to give space for these voices to be heard and to grow and to inspire new conversations. So I just want to use this space to recommend ten videos of astounding contemporary poets of color that I admire, in no particular order, and let these poets speak for themselves.

Jamila Woods - Black Magic

Patricia Smith - Skinhead

Angel Nafis - Conspiracy: A Suite

Danez Smith - Dear White America

McKendy Fils-Aime - Whistling Vivaldi

Omoizele 'Oz' Okoawo - The Beast:1944

Kemi Alabi - A Letter to Occupy

Joshua Bennett - Still Life with Black Death

Jasmine Mans - I Know You Didn't Mean to Kill Him

Crystal Valentine - Questions for Fox News Regarding the Race Card

This list is too short. There are so many more important words out there. I hope this serves as a jumping off point, a starting line, some jumper cables to your heart song.