Samples of Where I’ve Been: SPEAK!

Opening piece on the SPEAK! CD. SPEAK! is the first self-named album from the Women of Color led media collective, SPEAK!

Why do you speak?

Do you speak to record your history, generations of your people invisible and erased? Centuries caught in your throat and you’re the first to come out of hiding.

I speak to live into my skin; it’s tired of existing in lighter shades, living inside out to serve someone else’s “purpose”. I speak to let it breathe, shine, reveal the beauty of its coarseness, regardless if you deem it beautiful and place a gold stamp on my back. Branded for assimilation, the mark of approval, ahhh, now you safe! 

My body speaks even when I’m silent; it’s a resurrected Taino temple, hymning the songs of my people. Aqui estoy, la cultura y el olor de una persona, con sangre roja y una vida que debe ser importante. ¡Mírame! ¡Mírame!

Why do you speak? 

I speak to scream, words have no power unless you feel their vibration. I speak for my family, for my life, for your life and for the ones to come. No, I can’t lower my voice. No puedo bajar la voz, Necesito gritar!

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