#IAmAPoet project pays tribute to MLK with words and images

“I, along with the other poets, want to bring recognition to the fact that we have voices and are able to utilize (them) because of the sacrifices and courage that Dr. King embodied.” — Writeous Soul

By Brianna A. Smith, The New Tri-State Defender

“This year I can’t sleep on the vision,” exclaimed Carin Malone.

Malone is a well-known poet who goes by the stage name Writeous Soul. She holds the title as Grand Slam Poetry Master, as she’s been doing spoken word for more than 10 years and is a 10-time poetry slam champion.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday, she’s put together a dedication tribute visual entitled #IAmAPoet. “I want people to understand the purpose of Dr. King using his voice and how impactful his voice was and still is,” said Malone.

Writeous Soul brought together a host of Memphis poets to take unified photos and re-enact some of the iconic Ernest Withers photos from the 1968 sanitation strike.

They photographed at three historic locations around the city: The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Park and the #IAmAMan plaza at Clayborn Temple.

Compiling those images with an inspirational poem that she’s written, titled ‘Kingdom Come,’ she’s created a visual to honor Dr. King’s voice in the Civil Rights movement, as well as to celebrate Dr. King’s 90th birthday.

“I, along with the other poets, want to bring recognition to the fact that we have voices and are able to utilize it, because of the sacrifices and courage that Dr. King embodied,” said Malone. “We know that himself and others paved the way for us, to be able to use our First Amendment right and we want to be sure that Dr. King is remembered and honored.”

Writeous Soul set the #IAmAMan visual for release on Jan. 15 (Dr. King’s actual birthday) on her personal Facebook page ‘Carin Malone’ (https://www.facebook.com/carin.malone).

“…Dr. King selflessly came to Memphis to be a supporter and a voice for the sanitation workers, as well as he was a catalyst and spoke on behalf of many African-American people around the country; in the grand scheme of things, poets are a voice,” said Malone, emphasizing the role millennials have to play in supporting Dr. King’s Dream.

“Millennials have a big role, because they’re so tech savvy. They play an important role in what and how things are shared,” said Malone. “To help convey the dream of Dr. King is to continue to be a positive voice. Millennials have the responsibility of educating and informing themselves and others on social and economic justice and being a voice of reasoning.”

Writeous Soul is committed to using her voice to impact, educate, empower and entertain the community.

“I want to positively advance the Memphis performing arts community by exposing the city to some of the leading poets, comics and singers, while empowering and bridging the gap between pastors, politicians and artists in Memphis,” she said.

Feb. 22, Malone will host “Lyrics at the Lorraine: Poets, Pastors & Politicians.”

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