Your Story is Your Own

If you’ve spent any time around me at all recently, then you know that I’ve developed a mild obsession with spoken word poetry. For those of you that don’t know what spoken word is, I like to use the following formula:

Rap – music + deeply personal topics = spoken word

I’m particularly drawn to spoken word artists whose voices are usually marginalized in the bigger society, the large woman who talks about her skinny boyfriend, the fatherless son, the Ethiopian woman who talks about the power of her name, the disintegration of society thanks to technology,  the Korean adoptee who is speaking about her name (which I’ll embed below because I’ve watched about 10 times and the last line still punches me in the gut).

I love that these people not only are using their voice to tell their story, but they have an audience for it.  Recently, I’ve read several blog posts written by people who feel that their voices have been marginalized- one particularly poignant one by a Korean man about his name.   If you don’t have privilege, people tell you what is and what isn’t your story. For people who are marginalized, spoken word seems like a great method to tell their story. For people who have privilege (like me), it’s a great way to hear, really hear, what the experiences of other people are like.

I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. Only that I hope that my kids can know that they have a voice, both as an adoptees and people of color, that their story belongs to them and is theirs to tell however they want to tell it.

AND, if they happen to love spoken word and want to be poets, I’ll be at every performance and I’ll bawl like a big giant baby.

What do you think?

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