Philly Protest Poetry group writes to unite city in perfect harmony

ByMatteo Iadonisi
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Philly Protest Poetry group writes to unite city in perfect harmony
"The voice of a Philadelphia poet comes from the struggle that we live." Community Journalist Matteo shows us the rhyme and reason behind an upcoming protest performance.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- "Poetry in Philly, it has a very long historical background," said Angela D. Moore.

She is organizing the Philly Protest Poetry Extravaganza, which will bring together roughly 20 poets from the Greater Philadelphia Area to rhyme, alliterate and personify a path to racial justice.

"The voice of a Philadelphia poet comes from the struggle that we live," said Osayimwese Nadir Karume. "Everything that we see around us is organic. And as it happens, we actually write."

A poem he wrote in eighth grade, "Black Destruction," still reverberates through his community today.

"Drugs, crime, incarceration, the exploitation of explosive situations," Karume riddled.

Fellow poet, Lois Moses, notes the reason why.

"So many of our poems are as relevant today as when we started doing this in the early 90s or late 80s," she said, hoping for the day where her words will grow outdated.

Her voice echoed throughout the Benjamin Franklin Parkway today as she declared, "Will they clone little black girls...who brave notwithstanding ghettos, guns, gloom, doom, distracted and detracted mothers mothering who stave unequivocally, and persevere, erasing all doubt of concession, digression, misconception and their wonder."

It's a mission of hers to teach young women to look inside to learn who they are. "Little black girls like me that won't die because I'm going to fight," Moses riffed.

She is a performer in the virtual poetry event, which takes place Sunday, August 23. It serves as a sort of reunion for these three friends. In the late 80s and early 90s, they circled throughout poetry circuits, traveling and performing spoken words on stage.

Although the spotlight has shifted to a new generation, these poets are not losing their luster. They see their upcoming performance as a compliment to the ongoing calls for justice in America.

"For the most part, my generation is not really marching," said Moses. "This is really a vibrational tribute to continue to lift and to help those voices resonate."

To register to view the performances, which will be streamed live at 1pm on August 23, visit their Facebook page.

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"I've always been a strong advocate with the kids, especially being a black man. And we don't see enough of that." Community Journalist Matteo introduces us.