2013 has been intense and we are only 1/3 of the way through. The biggest feat this month is that I completed ILL POETS SOCIETY volume I: The Spoken Word project.
I completed post-production of this project amidst my most vigorous medical school rotation in Internal Medicine. I had to negotiate my time to order 50 hard copies that I distributed across the Champaign-Urbana community. I made the audio files from the audio album in the dual disc available for free download. I put up video files on various websites of pieces off of the film. I gave copies to local radio stations to rebroadcast. I also gave copies to various people in the community to enjoy. Despite the huge time commitment, I can honestly say that this has been one of the most fulfilling artistic endeavors to date.
ILL POETS SOCIETY was a form of catharsis. I can’t convey all the madness in my life much less within the Graduate and Professional process that one must endure. The reality is that I could have turned a blind eye to the ignorance at the University of Illinois a long time ago and been the poster child for my program. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with yourself. Some people are able to compartmentalize their emotions regarding circumstances of oppression as they traverse these so-called academically challenging Institutions. I was never bestowed with the gift to close my eyes or my heart.
Some say that they will wait until they reach the position of power to then give back. They claim that once you have that top spot, you can change it and open doors for future scholars. I have never subscribed to this philosophy or put stock in its worth.
For some reason, people still don’t understand why this has been the worst academic experience that I have ever had to endure. My years here at the
So when you peer into my soul and listen the audio album or watch the film titled ILL POETS SOCIETY, know that my intent was not to entertain. I never sought to inspire. I merely attempted to tell true stories from a place of love to help ease the pain that I experience and that I know the people that I care about are experiencing. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been marred by racism and privilege hurled at through undergrads, colleagues, staff, professors, physicians, community members and just about anyone who felt like pissing in my direction. This project, ILL POETS SOCIETY, allowed me to return focus. I was able to stop focusing on the miniscule and individual situations that I was experiencing to step back and look at the Big Picture. People are suffering everywhere. The notion that I should wait until I am 40 or 50 years of age to be a Dean or Professor to finally state my position against something hateful against the
people that I love is asinine and offensive.
Far be it from me to portray myself as being without flaw though. I am an imperfect soul walking closer and closer towards my goals and further and further from my childhood. Thank you for joining me on this ride.