A night of poetry // Aja Monet
Rejoignez-nous pour une nuit de poésie, force et émancipation avec Aja Monet! Join us for a night of poetry, strength and empowerment with Aja Monet !
International poet, performer, singer, songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate, Aja paints a picture of what it means to be a woman of color in America in 2015.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Aja witnessed the tensions between the police and the African-American community in New York City, the pain she felt watching young boys being lowered into police cars and anger when officers would “taunt” her uncle and brother during their patrols through her neighborhood.
In poetry and songs, Aja poses questions about the power of the imagination in how we engage with local and global issues:
“I believe poetry is how we begin to decolonize our imaginations,” she explains. “Poetry is a genuine form of protest, because encourages other people to feel the horror of our society.”
Music and Poetry
Inner-City Chants & Cyborg Cyphers (June 2015) is a music and poetry collection in which Aja explores double consciousness, that those who are oppressed, especially women of color, must manage everyday: confronting the physical realities and the mental travel needed to survive and transform bleak situations (Modern Griot). It is a testimony to family and self, memory, loss and remembrance. The Black Unicorn Sings, independently published in 2010, represents strong and sometimes to broken female characters, celebrating the spirit of women and what they are capable of.
As a musician, in 2014 Aja Monet released Courage, an EP on MassAppeal.com; her first compilation of music and poetry, Scared to Make Love/Scared Not To, is a testament to her creative lens and a social commentary on the discussion of love.
Awards and Appearances
In 2014, Aja was awarded the YWCA of the City of New York’s “One to Watch”— an award in honor of her work to honor women under 30 and to eliminate racism. The youngest individual to win the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title — at the age of 19 — she is recognized for captivating audiences in the United States, France, the UK, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bermuda, and Cuba. By request of the UN Youth Delegates, Aja has performed for ambassadors, national politicians, diplomats, and directors of various agencies at the United Nations, and she performed at the NAACP’s Barack Obama Inaugural event in Washington DC.
Her performances are as beautiful as the light that shines from within her, leaving you captivated, inspired and uplifted.