Monday, November 9, 2015

Jessica Care Moore - "Black Statute of Liberty" (spoken word video & words)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video and a transcription of the spoken word composition "Black Statute of Liberty" by Jessica Care Moore.

The content of this post is presented for inspirational, motivational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owner.

Thanks to Jessica Care Moore for this composition. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

From Ebony: jessica Care moore Mixes Art + Activism to a ‘Tea’.
"Detroit is famous for its music, from Motown to techno and house, to Eminem and Dilla. But it’s less well known for its stellar, homegrown poets. A native daughter of the D, jessica Care moore first won hearts with her five-time winning streak on It’s Showtime at the Apollo back in 1995, after newly transplanting herself to New York City at age 22 a year after her father’s death.
A fiery performer of blunt-force truth emerged onstage that night. From a petite young woman in a demure dress and box braids exploded a voice that was unapologetically centered in her own visceral experiences as a hip-hop generation-identified sista poet. She knocked that famously tough Apollo audience out cold with the searing conviction of her Black-woman-uplifting poem, “Black Statue of Liberty.”

Moore’s poetry has always been equal parts personal and political, and her multitasking abilities are formidable: she’s also an independent book publisher who issued the literary debuts of fellow poets—including Saul Williams and Newark, New Jersey mayor Ras Baraka—on her won Moore Black Press. All that, and she’s the doting, proud mom of two sons.

Rapper Talib Kweli, Moore’s longtime pal, thought the poet his ideal choice to sign to his Javotti Media label when “one day, she was in my crib kicking it and played me the album she fully intended to release on her own, and the album blew me away. It was excellent. I had to be involved.”...
Hat tip to for featuring this article's excerpt.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Black Statute of Liberty by Jessica Care Moore

DCSuperSid, Uploaded on Jul 8, 2007

(Jessica Care Moore)

I stand still above an island, fist straight in the air
Scar on my face, thick braids in my hair
Battle boots tied, red blood in the tears I’ve cried.
Tourists fly from all over just to swim near my tide
Or climb up my long flight of stairs
But they trip on their shoe string lies.
Piece by piece they shipped my body to this country
Now that I’m here, your people don’t want me.
I’m a symbol of freedom, but I’m still not free
I suffer from class, race, and gender inequality.
I wear a crown of knowledge, ’cause I’m a conscious queen
My mask is one of happiness, though my history here is full of misery.
Done deliberately.
I am America’s true statue of liberty.
You placed a bible under my arm, after you ripped me of my faith
And made me pray to a fictional imposter
So, if you were trying to maintain liberty
Too late, you just lost her
‘Cause her torch is about to serve as the night light for truth
In the slums and the ghettos that you find so uncouth.
Education will be delivered not from the tree, but the root.
So, little black girls and boys will check their pockets
For spirituality rather than loot
‘Cause liberty is just old mother nature
And although you don’t lover her, she’ll never hate ya.
She’s earth, wind and fire, don’t tempt her to show her power.
Turning all weeds to flowers.
Looking into her wise eyes will make a blind man see
How can you dare name a eurocentric girl after me?
Assata Shakur Barbara Jordan Nikki Giovanni and Angela Davis.
These are the real symbols of liberty
‘Cause that stone faced French woman ain’t gonna save us.
The same folks who enslaved us.
I’m sitting at the back of the bus, ’cause I feel like it.
And I play ball
Not ’cause you pay me to dunk it, dribble it or hike it.
I’m taking all my people back home, and breaking them mentally free.
I am the walking, talking, breathing, beautiful statue of liberty.
I sweep crack pipes out of school yards
I nurture my man when times are hard.
So, where the hell’s my statue?
What’s the liberated woman gotta do?
Place my name in wet cement
Every month I pay the rent.
Put my silhouette on a stamp
I’m not a ho, slut or tramp.
My children aren’t on crack, and neither am I.
I want to see the words, “Go, strong Black woman,”
When the Goodyear blimp flies by.
I can bake cookies, bear babies, preside over revolutions
Get rings out of tubs, wear a suit, sport baggy jeans, slick my hair back
Or tie it up in braids.
My aura is unafraid.
So, no statue in the big apple can mess with me.
I am the walking, talking, surviving, breathing, beautiful
Black Statue of Liberty


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  1. KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley/San Francisco played Jessica Care Moore's poem these past two days. As a female poet who honors the Power of the Divine Feminine, Jessica's passionate poetry instantly captured me. While my DNA traces back to William the Conqueror, that .0591" of white melanin that covers my body thinly disguises the fact that we are all the same colour on the inside. Our differences are cultural and I want to embrace them all. Jessica's poetry calls me to stand beside her and all my Sisters of every culture, every colour, everywhere. We stand together on the battlefield, casting off the garments of darkness and donning the Armor of Light.

    Robin Bryant

    1. Thanks for sharing the information about KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley/San Francisco playing a recording of Jessica Care Moore's poem "Black Statute of Liberty".

      And thanks for your comment. I very much agree that "every culture, every colour, everywhere [need to] stand together on the battlefield, casting off the garments of darkness and donning the Armor of Light."

      Positive vibrations and Resist!