Slam Poets Shaking Up The World

Slam Poets Shaking Up The World

There are many poets out there, but the select few on this list make it their mission to preach their truth and wake up their audience.
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Slam Poets are the revolutionary voice of this generation, not Hip-Hop artists or whatever Pop artists that get a ton of fame from music. The poets that "share their naked feelings with the world" Abiodun Oyewole said are who we have to give us the real news of current events. These poets are exuberant with their blackness and are not asking for anything, simply telling you what's going on in a different way than you've heard before.

Kearmonie

A Brooklyn native that uses her tools of poetry to tackle issues blowing away the minds all misogynistic people. Sharing her work in the slam world as a member of the 2016 Brooklyn College Slam Team, Kearmonie is a force to be reckoned with. Here's what Harriet Tubman would think about being put on the $20 bill.

Gabriel Ramirez

A phenom to slam poetry ever since the winning the Knicks Poetry Slam in 2012 Gabriel Ramirez speaks on life issues that'll make you empathize with him regardless of your age. A proud Afro-latino unapologetic with his message and continuation of being an embodiment of kindness.

Ashley August

2013 New York City Youth poet Laureate Ashley August takes the stage of the Bowery Poetry Cafe and dominates the competition(while also most nights hosting the event Monday nights). Her like the other poets on this list have been and continue to bring light to topics of life, not just as youth but challenges that effect individuals across the globe.

Timothy DuWhite

From Montclair State University to BRIC 2016 Slam Team in Brooklyn Timothy has left crowds ravving for more of his storytelling. Timothy is the definition of making a way when it seems no road has been paved for you. An activist, protestor, creative writing mentor, proud member of LGBTQ community, Timothy is a self made giant.

Crystal Valentine

Hailing from the big apple, 2016 BRIC, 2015 NYU Slam Team member is an icon all on her own. With the title of 2015 NYC Youth Poet Laureate, one competition after the other Crystal holds nothing back on her opinions of trending topics, such as Donald Trump or anything defiling black people or women. She always delivers with a sense of urgency that'll leave you wanting more.

Savon Bartley

Home to North Chi-town, Savon, this student of hip-hop cultivated his poetry to speak his mind on mulitple platforms from 2014 Urban Word Slam team to coach of 2016 Montclair State Slam team, Savon is a versitle lyracist who can manipulate his words in astounding ways.

Taylor Steele

This 2015 Team No Name/Team Eboni (Urbana Slam Team coached by Eboni Hogan) Slam team member has held her own on whichever stage she graces. Taylor has a zero tolenrance attitude towards the hatred of white America and will be heard. This woman is an advocate of self resilliance and practices what she preaches.

Steven Willis

As a Nuyorican Poets Cafe 2015 Slam Team member Steven showed the Chi-New York connection stronger than ever by delivering mind bending alliterations and metaphors to convey the meaning of what it is to be a black man in America, from the talk and walk to who we have to look up. Steven has crafted his poetry to be used as a tool in classrooms, formal and informal stages.

Anthony McPherson

Hard work, sweat and determination makes this 2016 BRIC slam poet a phenom, he's let his finished work define how much poetry matters. I call him Mc Pheezy, but he's a fresh and "woke" individual with so much power in the pen it'd be ridiculous to only call him a poet, a orchestator of words, Oklahoma city born, his talent belongs to the world now.

Cover Image Credit: knockturnalemissions

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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