Voice

Location

Hilton Omaha - Leadership Conference
United States

I come to be a voice

For every person who’s been

Suffering in silence

Too acquainted with lost dreams

And police sirens

 

Waking up in the middle of the night

Knowing something’s wrong

But nothing you do seems to make it right

 

When there’s more funerals

Than there are celebrations

Something’s wrong

 

When our children grow up with more

Chastisement than empowerment

Told more about what they can’t do

Than what they can

Told more about what they do wrong

Than what they can do right

 

Explain to me

What’s the difference between

Freedom and slavery

When we’re convinced that we’re unworthy

Before we even knock on the doors

Of opportunity?

 

This is a PSA to my community

Not limited to the borders of my city

But to an entire nation

 

Better yet an entire generation

Who were created to soar with elevation

But settle to just keep

Their heads above water

 

Rain drops

Falling on your head with no umbrella

To be your shield

 

Sometimes the world is a game of soccer

And life is the field

Only we’re the ball

By keeping your hands off the issues

And focusing on the wrong goals

You kick us while we’re down

But no one’s keeping score

 

No one’s telling us the real reasons

That make life worth fighting for

Poor people think it’s money

And rich people think it’s fame

And famous people say we’re all wrong

Because losing your soul is not worth the gain

 

Emptiness for whatever reason

Is still pain

And everybody’s asking who’s to blame

But at the end of the day…

A victim mentality never changed a thing

 

So this is for everyone crying out

For empowerment

Wanting to overcome systematic devourment

Don’t you know empowerment

Begins with “empower me”?

Which means there's no empowerment until you and I empower we

 

Because even when you have nothing

You still have a voice

You still have a choice

You still have to choose

Sing a joyful song or sing the sad blues

What will you do?

 

Some choose to take pictures

While others choose to take action

Some choose to point fingers

While others choose to be proactive

And why does our society spend

More on aftermath than pre-algebra?

 

Translation:

Spending more on penitentiaries

Than education

 

Geniuses…

Flunking out of school

Entrepreneurs…

Selling illegal merchandise

Masterminds…

Slipping through the cracks of mindlessness

Actresses…

Being told they’re too dramatic

Misfits…

Being called off brands

 

So tell me

What good is English class

When in the school of hard knocks you can't seem to pass?

 

Failing to realize that

No matter how many times you

Get it wrong

You can play your cards right

So don’t fold

 

How come we were never told

That no matter how many times

Life gives you a low grade

Your significance does not fade

 

You’re stronger than

Every shackle and chain

That tries to take

Your dreams to the grave

 

You shine in the shade

You were created, not made

Which means you're not a cheap imitation you're the authentic grade

 

And the destiny you have in store

Is too expensive to trade

It's worth more

Than the fanciest of buildings and steeples

But it seems we focus more on building buildings than building people

So why are we so surprised

When the people in the buildings

Get blasted by life’s demolition crew?

 

I want to be a tower of inspiration to you

I want to extend my reach to the

People with a skyscraper view

 

Because I will not stand tall

For anything other than the truth

And the truth is…

 

I don’t speak up enough

You are witnessing words

That have been bottled up

Now pouring out into adjectives and nouns

Consonants and vowels

With amplified sound

 

I speak in the midst of crowds

Because these vocal cords weren't meant to stand still

So why are you standing still?

 

Dreams are still dreams until you open up your eyes

And make them real

 

So wake up!

It seems we focus more on hair and makeup

But ladies, it doesn’t matter

How much lipstick you wear

If most of what comes out of your mouth

Is not beautiful

 

And a guy could be 5’3 or 6’9

But a real man knows

His true strength is inside

 

IT doesn’t matter if you’re sagging

Or if you lift ya pants high

‘Cause real change first begins with

The lifting of your mind

 

Conquer it

Like kings and queens conquer with

Words as they rule on the throne

So I choose to speak life

Instead of speaking tombstones

 

My tongue carries words

Sent forth by the heart

My tongue pushes words

Like doors and shopping carts

 

So just when you felt like

Everything was trying to

Pull you down…

Allow me to give you a push!

In the upward direction

Because there’s more to life

Than you could ever imagine

 

And just when you were about to

Pull the trigger because you felt

Like no one really cared…

Let me assure you that your life

Is worth more than you can spare

 

Open up your eyes and realize

That if you’re at the bottom

The only thing you can do is rise

 

I said

Open up your eyes and realize

That if you’re at the bottom

The only thing you can do is rise

 

For the doors of greatness are open

Because our mouths will

No longer be shut

 

No longer will we suffer in silence

No longer will we be so acquainted

With lost dreams and police sirens

 

We are a new generation

So think twice before you

Try to take our voice away

Because we have a lot to say

Poetry Slam: 
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