"They hand out lemons for aid
They poison the water
They make sugar illegal
They ban the swizzle stick
And make the pitcher unaffordable
The setup is deplorable
But they expect us to make lemonade?"
LEMON•aid is a poetic experience that combines spoken word poetry with visual imagery to depict the bittersweet relationship between struggle and triumph in a strained social economic infrastructure. LEMON•aid speaks to the strength, tenacity, and resilience it takes to overcome the odds of those whose lives are riddled with lemons from institutional racism and segregation practices like: redlining, housing discrimination, inadequate education and employment, blockbusting, white flight, urban renewal and gentrification. This poetic work draws on my own experiences growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a place that has been referred to as the second-worst city for African Americans by Forbes Magazine. I take a crucial look at the age old adage "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" and beg the question, what if you can't because the water is poisoned?
"Has anyone ever complimented your resilience?
Has anyone ever complimented your strength?
Strength isn't defined by our resources
it's knowing what struggle feels like
and having the power to make the impossible possible in this life."