Thank you to spoken word artist, Justine Warren, AKA J'ANNIYAH, for performing "Grasp today" at this year's Art on the Concourse event. Composed during her 2023 Concourse House Mother-Artist Apprenticeship with additional support from her 2023 Create & Connect Award with The Laudromat Project, Brooklyn.
Justine is a former resident of Concourse House who we served in our arts program. We are honored to share a transcript of J'ANNIYAH's perfomance below.
We congratulate J'ANNIYAH and all the artists who took part in our Art Night program for Art on The Concourse, 2023.
Photo credit: Amanda Jewell (2023)
" Grasp Today "
To survive is really the dream but to be able to live is the true blessing
Sad to say today that the heart and the soul missing. People growing cold and the unawareness is relentless. We was pint against each other; deeper than just the politics and religion, before we even had a decision, but now it’s time for a difference, so imma put my words out there and forget that COMPOSITION…
^YALL hearing me ? I said are y’all hearing me? (if needed)
It’s time that we start to listen and move together with our opinions
Each a different battle but we know struggle has no limits, so we can STAND on our consensus and find ways to be uplifting; because agree to disagree the price of being right sometimes can have some really high expenses.
It’s time to do the math and to close the division If we don’t care about each other then it’ll all fall apart …so in addition
If cents can make dollars and dollars can make cents why can’t we put our divergencies together to create a better vision. To fill the craving of being surrounded by beings who love your whole being (y’all still with me now?)
To find serenity and peace in all the pieces of yourself and your identity and in doing so you’re able to identify the pieces of you that you just needed to survive and slowly letting out the the pieces of you that shined so bright that you had to hide, it’s only then when we embrace both that we start to make true strides. We all have stories, ones that can make the song cry but no matter the plot we continue to get up and wipe our eyes.
We survived the things that they didn’t think we could survive, the things that were supposed to take us out; we didn’t let it.
So everyday you wake up, survive, and choose to continue the fight give yourself some credit.
I hope we can get to a place where we can encourage each other before we judge. No more being judged for your happiness or judged for your pain, judged for loving God, wanting to find peace, or chasing after change.
When it comes to shame we can issue understanding and not emit wrath
If we’re on different sides how could we come together to forge a better path… a path to feel free, to think free, to live free, to breathe free ( hostile type)to laugh freely, TO BE FREE If y’all know it sing it with me(sing if I ruled the world bars)
It’s our lives we shouldn’t have to ask for permission, we can all be great we just need to change the shift of our position, you’ll see the sky’s the limit once you start to grow and heal
We can do this, I believe we can and we will yall. Individually all so blessed and beautifully unique but when we channel that beauty and come together that’s a beauty that can’t be beat
About Justine Warren
Known as J’ANNIYAH, is a 20 year old multi-talented artist and mom whose accomplishments have included acting, singing, dancing, and writing of all forms. Justine has performed and worked with organizations such as Bailey’s cafe, Irondale, BAM, City lore, Keen teens, STOOPS, The laundromat Project and Concourse House, Home For Women and The Children. J'ANNIYAH has been awarded certificates for creativity and influential theater and has volunteered with St. John’s Bread and Life. J’ANNIYAH is from Brooklyn, Bed Stuy and you’ll see that reflected in her art.