“I look at Black History Month as a season. A time for reflection, a season for gathering, a time for mobilizing, as well as putting concentrated energy into celebrating. It's almost like getting up first thing in the morning and taking time to pray.
The past goes so quickly, but the future is coming every moment, so we really have to keep our eyes focused toward movement forward.
Being exposed to black history has been very important in my life. My mom and my pops had so many books around: the Roots, Malcolm X and the Panthers, Maya Angelou. Reading about people who succeeded despite the odds and recognizing their spirit was inspiring to me. Spoken word and MCing are just continuations of that tradition of utilizing the word to change, to shape our ideals, to be a voice for those who can't speak, to observe, to debate, to question.
Being aware of African history just broadens the perspective. I can make a connection between me walking down the street and somebody walking down a street in Antigua or Barbados or feet hitting the sand in Ghana. We need to be connecting where we're at now to our past, connecting to people who live in us but live in other places, opening our scope, opening our third eye.
I want to see a space where young people can grow up and live full lives, where they can be educated in a way that raises their self-esteem instead of cutting them down. A place where they can feel wanted and respected, a place where they don't feel hunted, where they don't feel like they're the "other." This is the second and third generation of kids who came from parents who came up here in the 60s and 70s, and we haven't moved forward enough. This is the T.O. that I want to see in the future.”
Motion is a spoken word poet and hiphop MC. email@example.com