Written by @BrittanyShawnté
I’m happy to feature one of my fellow Moonz (aka strong supporters of Wale and each other!), poet Christian Richardson! Christian started writing poetry in his senior year of high school back in 2007, with his first poem being a love poem to a girl he was “foolishly in love with,” he joked. “We were not communicating at the time, so I wrote her a letter instead.” Poetry soon became a way for him to truly open up about his feelings and emotions about his life circumstances.
The poet honestly stated that his upbringing made him resentful and angry, and he internalized a lot of his emotions. However, writing gave him an outlet. “I didn’t really know how to express myself any other way,” Christian admitted. “I couldn’t articulate my emotions clearly and lucid so I indulged myself a lot more in to writing my emotions down instead of talking about them.” I personally know that feeling so well! Regardless of what you write about, many writers, or at least the ones I know, often struggle to express themselves verbally, and can sometimes hold their emotions in. However, writing is always a freeing release. I know that for myself. Christian personally uses those emotions in his performances.
Christian knew that poetry was something that he wanted to seriously pursue once he graduated from college. In school, he continued to write constantly, but was focused more on graduating as well as fraternity life, which kept him away from pursuing a career as a poet full time. Though even now he has a 9 to 5, he spends the rest of his time writing and practicing for performances, with the goal of eventually becoming a full-time traveling poet and motivational speaker.
Inspired by friends in the poetry scene Greg Long (aka Tripp Fontane) and Amber Steele (aka Poetic Am), Christian uses his gift for writing and spoken word in a powerful way! Two outstanding pieces he shared with me are “Venting” and “Black Man, White Cop,” which you can view below!
“Venting” showcases Christian speaking about his own personal issues as well as his issues with society. “I talked a lot about insecurities, my dissatisfaction with the amount of debt people accumulate after college and how sometimes we buy in to that ‘American fantasy,’ (I can’t even call it American dream) that things are all gravy if we get a degree,” he said. He says in first line, “I find comfort in low fat yogurts, and 50 calorie pita chips” which he said was basically a stab at society’s constant push for perfection. “We are never skinny enough, or have enough muscle to be that ideal person people want and accept. And it definitely gets deeper throughout.”
In the second piece, “Black Man, White Cop,” Christian took on the role of current cases of police brutality and racism with black men including Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner. “Those particular cases and verdicts actually made me feel something,” he disclosed. “When I heard the verdict of Eric Garner case, I’ll never forget, I was in my car sitting in Chipotle parking lot and I just broke into tears. Like any of those cases that could have been me. And I really questioned my value to the world as a Black male today.”
In the future, Christian would like to travel around the world and perform his poetry. “I don’t even want to be rich for real, just enough to maintain and do what I love,” he said. “See the world, gain perspective, write and perform the rest of my life away. That’s all I really want for real.”
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