Friday, July 10, 2009

Feminist and Spoken Word Artist, Staceyann Chin!

On Wednesday I attended the Campus Progress National Conference. And while there were great speakers liiiike... Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, White House adviser Van Jones, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, The Daily Show's John Oliver, aaannndd President Bill Clinton, the one speaker that really stood out to me was spoken word artist Staceyann Chin.

Thanks to a certain fellow FMF intern and office mate, I am starting to realize my own love for spoken word artists. All I can say is Staceyann Chin was amazing, she gave me chills and inspired me. The poetry she read at the conference gave insight to growing up as a girl in Jamaica, her experiences with abuse, getting her period, realizing her lesbianism, and her vagina. She has been published in the New York Times and Washington Post, you may have heard of these. AND made appearances on NBC, CNN, and BET just to name a few.

Chin spoke to the audience of 1,300 young progressives about typically uncomfortable subjects. This audience was enthralled, laughed loudly, and gave her a standing o when she was finished. Her personal and candid words about her own body were backed up by her strong voice and complete confidence. I stared wide-eyed in awe of this beautiful woman speaking words from her written stream of consciousness, everything was so rhythmically unique and beautiful. Every word that came after the next was perfectly written and powerful.

With my new interest in spoken word artists, I imagine she will continuously stand out to me. Her feminism was present and strong and I envied her ability to speak her mind with such strength, beauty, and rhythm. Spoken word is incredibly powerful and everyone should listen to Staceyann Chin and read her memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, which I plan to do immediately!

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