First off, I want to share this article to say congratulations to Ms.El Jones, Halifax spoken word artist, activist and teacher. Some say she’s fire, some say she’s angry. I say she’s intelligent, driven and human. Ms. Jones speaks to issues within and impacting the Black Community in the Diaspora. Here’s the article about her becoming Halifax’s New Poet Laureate:
Now onto this issue of spending money on poetry.
There was a comment at the bottom of the article with some man talking about: this frivolous spending of tax dollars on left-wing activists and their fringe activities irritates him….
This man most likely has never been to a poetry show. He has no clue that artists have and continue to change their communities and impact society. Too bad for him.
Look at Miriam Makeba who was banned from South Africa for speaking about the country’s racist policies that banning local languages from schools in favor of Afrikaans, the language of the oppressors.
Poets can speak about social justice issues in a creative and powerful way that everyday people can relate to. They can also touch people by speaking their personal stories. Just yesterday, I watched a video about how this beautiful girl was called ‘ugly’ in school every day because she was dark-skinned. She says she heard a poem, A POEM! about about being dark and beautiful and this is what helped her change how she saw herself. She went from hating her skin to telling herself that she is beautiful until she believed it.
Poetry speaks to the spirit. This is why it saves lives, this is why it brings laughter. This is why it challenges. And this is why it is worth paying for.