Sankofa: Night at the Apollo made me think of Mandela


In May of 2009, I, along with 11 other young writers in NYC were chosen to travel to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela. Two weeks ago at the Apollo for the Young Producers Club's night of activating change, I thought of Mandela. I thought of his legacy. His impact on world history. I thought how performing at the Apollo was such a milestone in my poetic journey. Who knew submitting my poem 45 mins before deadline of the writing contest would get me to South Africa. Who knew 8 years later, I would still be writing and performing in the name of revolutionary change. At 14, I had spunk, I was spicy, and called out everything that was unjust . Through poetry I channeled my frustrations and confusion into lyrical creativity. My poetry journey really started, more so publicly, after meeting Mandela. I found slam poetry, then Urban Lyrics, and now I am finding myself through poetry. I thought to share the poem I wrote. Circling back feels right. Feels like Sankofa. Examining where I came from/ where I was at age 14 and where I am now at 22. Its always embarrassing to read this poem because I would never write like this now. But as I stated - Sankofa is necessary. Shout-outs to 14 year old me. I remember how dope she was...

Nelson Mandela