Community Expressions

Our stories as told through literature, art, poetry, and song; either oral or written; are the fibers that bond our unique experience’s together. Our ability to cast our narratives in our own voice and own way is critical in ensuring that an accurate depiction exists. Our expressions and stories are also an essential component of our social change strategy because from them arise a unified and educated base of community leaders.

This space is dedicated to community residents who – through music, poetry, paintings – manifest our struggle and our movement through their expressions.

“I , Y o u , W e” by Big Mack

I was part of the Problem
I became part of $olution
I went back to being the Problem
Now i’m back the $olution!!
I know GOD helps those that help themselves.
$o he $ent me $ent me $ome Great’ Guardian Angele$
To help me Under$tand. Pete, Becky, Dogon, Pam’Pam’
Debbie, $teve, Herman, Joe, Linda, Bilal, Laveeta, Jame$
$o i can Uplift $piritually, Mentually, Phy$ically
& Financially Me, My$elf an I an our Community
An Micheal ’Zing ’Zing & Peggy
$ee y’all in LA-CAN Heaven!!
Until then pray for me
No Mo $cam$ Drug$ Gang$ or Pen$
Fight BacK Fight BacK!! One mo time y’all
LA We CAN Fight BacK Fight BacK!!
(Re-Mix) LA i CAN LA You CAN
LA We CAN Fight for Human Right$
Fight for Human Right$!!
World’Wide’LA CAN 4 LiFE!!

Word in the Hood – February/March 2013


“ENGAGE” by King Gerald

Washing your feet ain’t never been seen
Submission to the Kings and Queens
Where you been all this time
Hiding uptown so sublime
Now the spirit is rising
For all to see
The Skid Row Warriors
Just like me

Word in the Hood – December 2012/January 2013 

WITH 2013

“WOW!” by Ellery Bailey

What is that awful emptiness I feel in my bones
A reminder of disease, loneliness and a lack of a home
Just a few things we might not want to hear
Just a few things mentioned that heightens my fears
Yes, fear is a part of me that I cannot hide
Like many before and many after me, we attempt to mask fear with pride
I can’t overlook another part of myself that’s evident, it’s called pain
This part of me is quite confusing because I’ve chosen it, it’s totally insane
Now I’ve realized that without the mercy of the Most High I couldn’t imagine where I would be
Throughout all f my poor choices GOD overruled my every unsuccessful attempt at failing in that He has saved me
Again, He saved ME, and if you could see me now
The broadest and most profound statement I could make is WOW…
And now that’s deciphered as, or is, an acronym for Working on Winning! And how…
More will be revealed

Word in the Hood – October/November 2012


“Ashes..2..Ashes” by lynx


A large crop of immigrants, All Kind, Tender Kind, Mexican Kind, Indian Black,
Hispanic, Asian, White Kind,
Macho Kind, Feminine & Gay Kind, Pigeon Kind,
Religious, Educated & Egotistic Kind

Butter-Flies Butter-Dies

I see more than I have ever and I never thought I would see more than I have seen,
Landing in a cloud of principalities & psychological imprisonment.
Butter-flies surround me gobbling edible remains,
the flight of a healthy pigeon kind are no more, as they race to dine limiting their chances to soar.
A Classy Butter-fly I look upon who is the center of oasis,
Another tender butterfly I find who empathize with destiny and homeless faces
I wear the garment of hopelessness, Constipated tears that
weigh heavily upon the length of my lashes,
Cloaked with shame while finances have depleted to Ashes.
Butter-flies I see on the onset now floating away in the waves of mental breakdown, oppression,
depression, disability, anger, addictions, POVERTY & CONTENTMENT
All type butter-flies once colored with much, yet have lost their ability of sight & touch.
Must this have gone on this long; so long as you see is the MIRACLE SONG
So Some Butter-flies
And so some Butter-Dies


Word in the Hood – August/September 2012


“A Message To The Black Man” by Billy Shaw

A Message To The Black Man:
Let those in authority over you believe that they do. But always know, Black Man, that you have no masters – in this world or in any other – as long as you know who you are and where you come from. And when you know this truth, you will never be a slave. And the truth will set you free from ever believing or being a slave, even when you have those in authority who oppose you because of their ignorance and fear. Always know and remember your place as a Black Man. You represent the image of God in the fullness of your Blackness. You represent the pride of your heritage because your ancestors, who once ruled the Earth, endowed through genetic ingenuity and intelligence your DNA with Divine Wisdom. And as Divine CoCreators with the Creator, you have within you the primary code of life – to establish yourselves as the true Sons of God, and, as such, you are the true leaders in the world of men. As Watchers and Sentinels, your legacy is to fulfill prophecy by being fruitful and multiplying and replenishing and subduing the world – by any means necessary. Fear not, Black Man, now is the time to take your place as the true leaders of this world and beyond. Black Man, it is your destiny to fulfill the prophecies, and to speak to your people and remind them that it’s time to wake up and take a stand as the true leaders of this world and beyond. For God so deems it.
So let it be written, so let it be said, so let it be done.

Word in the Hood – May/June 2012


“Cardboard Boxes” by Carolyn Schaugaard

Cardboard boxes – for the homeless to sleep in in the street.
Cardboard boxes – for the homeless who are angeles who were once dead,
as my son once told me.
They are their coffins and help us stay inside.