You may know me as a writer, but I am also well known for my advocacy work with the juvenile justice system and the foster care system. I previously wrote an article about art as a form of therapy. I also use my art to reach an audience and deliver a message. I wrote this piece, “Courage,” for the youth who are incarcerated. I wanted to educate them while also entertaining them.
I have performed this piece all over L.A County, in places like Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall through the Spirit Awakening Foundation, the Rightway Foundation, National Foster Youth Institute, and more. It is a very well known piece I perform through my advocacy work. I wanted to share it with my readers on The Chronicle of Social Change. I hope you enjoy it.
What is courage?
Courage is standing up for what you believe in
Courage is turning an enemy into a friend
Courage is learning to avoid a dead-end that will lead you to the PEN
What is pain?
Pain is silence
Pain is violence
Pain is a lost soul without guidance
Trying to find a way, listen to what I say
And let my words take you away.
You are more that what people say
If you can look in the mirror everyday
and say hey I love you, even if nobody else do I do.
Say no I’m not perfect but I’m worth it
So find your worth and work it
We get distracted, by negative things that attracted
Like drugs, money and bad habits
In bad habitats we learn to adapt too
School is not an option
Which is why most kids won’t go to college
Cause their parents rather be their potnas
Oh it gets deep
The power of these words
As free as a bird that’s sitting on the curb
Like when your mom say you get on my last nerves
And we think do she really means this
Even though we know it’s not true
We need to change our oppressed minds
And shift our paradigms
Because they have brainwashed us with lies
And will never apologize
Instead they traumatize our people
Take them from broken homes
And place them into a broken system
And expect this to fix them
No, no, no not no more
It’s time to educate the poor
Stand up if you want more
Are you receptive to what I’m saying?
Are you taking it all in?
Don’t fall before you stand
stand up for what you believe in
And do it all again