Hello Dr. Yaba Blay,
My name is Cynthia Amoah, a 22 year old spoken word poet based in Columbus, OH. I wanted to take the opportunity to write you today to let you know that because of your constant attention to our brown girls and your incessant need to never give up on us, I have done something special with your words and your work.
About a few months ago, my friend emailed me and told me that it would be a good idea to volunteer for your “RUBY YOU
" project. She had been a follower of your blog (Pretty. Period.) as well as your Facebook page and had seen the post looking for volunteers. Thinking that I would be a good fit, she wrote me and asked me to do it! After reading her email, I went on your Facebook page, read a few details regarding the project as well as how to submit photos and went on to submit my photos. I knew so many others would also submit their photos to you, but I was excited when my photo was chosen because it solidified two things for me: 1. That I was Pretty. Period., no matter the shade - what your "RUBY YOU" project set out to do in the first place and 2. The fact that you were within reach. In its entirety, the first of these things meant the absolute most to me, but the latter of these two things was just as important because it meant that if I ever needed to speak to you, I could. And today is that day.
Ever since my photo was chosen to be a part of your project, I have been a follower of your Facebook page and your blog. Over the past couple of months, I have read several posts that have impacted me, tuned into several interviews, and read several of your blog posts. Though I have learned much from each and every post, I do have to admit, that none have impacted me quite like your blog post, “Lupita is Beautiful, but Black Been Beautiful
.” The message of the post remained etched in my mind for weeks and because I couldn’t shake it, I had to do the only thing I knew to do about it and that was to write. So, I wrote. And what was born was a poem titled, “Honam,” that I have filmed and put up on my Youtube page, but wanted to share with you also.
In truth, my original plan was to attend law school, but if I was to be completely honest, poetry is my purpose. That is where my passion really lies - in the mystical power of language, its ability to birth emotion as well as social change all in one breath - and it’s within the opportunities that poetry provides that will allow me to progress to a greater and more sapient understanding of my calling. It is in opportunities like the ones that lie within this very email, my “speaking” to you in a sense, or even the ones that lie within the one my friend sent me which alerted me to your movement and your works. My life is a balancing act of constantly stepping out on faith and birthing hard work. The risk is never easy, but the results are always worth it.
The link to the Youtube video of “Honam” is listed below. Please, give it a listen and share it if you deem it worthy.
Thank you for the time,