Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age
A portfolio project led by Mariana Parisca, Story Stitchers Artist in Residence
March 2-25, 2017
Spoken Word March 25 4 PM
7513 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton MO 63105
Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age is a time capsule of teenage voices combined with adult artists living in St. Louis in 2015, all reacting to a critical and unique time in the history of race relations, gun violence, police roles and community relationships in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Touch the Sky
c Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2015
Don’t try to put a ceiling on my sky;
Don’t try to limit how high my dreams can fly,
Another 187 in my neighborhood… everyday dreams die,
I’m infusing my dreams with own perception of reality,
I’m struggling everyday to be all I can be,
In a world who wants to see the end of me.
Black lives matter? But the sidewalks are covered in blood splatter.
Black blood spilled on concrete,
Black bodies look like me dead in the street.
Trying to please my momma and I don’t want to be my father but the system is fighting against me,
I am 12 years old will I be gunned down for having fun with a bb gun?
Found guilty before the trial people screaming “yes he’s the one”?
Young, gifted and black wearing a hoodie walking from a corner eating skittles is subject to killed,
Like a strange fruit hanging from a popular tree… a modern 2015 Emnitt Till.
Don’t tell me my dreams aren’t heaven sent!
You may have written the book but I’m the one selling it.
I’m Muslim so I ain’t giving up dreams for Lent.
For every sound of a jail cell close,
For every tear from a mother’s that falls,
“ Momma, watch me!” Your baby boy stand tall.
My dreams can only be limited by me!
Defined by me!
Followed trough by me!
And realized by me!
Don’t try to but a ceiling on my sky,
Try to limit how high my dreams can fly,
Another 187 in my neighborhood… every day somebody dreams die.