Hey, I’m Staceyann Chin

Jamaican-born writer, poet and activist Staceyann Chin is a “wildcat woman.” A tigress. A marauder out for blood. She’s hell bent on eviscerating the patriarchy, colonialism, sexism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia. Fuck it, toss in the suffixes of all the “isms” and “schisms” that denote human oppression and delimitation, for she considers them just as odious. She’s calling for an all-out revolution.

For the past twenty-odd years, Staceyann’s full-throated, gesticulated, irreverent, and unapologetic verses have propelled fingers to snap and audiences to bellow. Her firebrand style of poetry electrified the New York spoken-word scene in the early ‘90s with a Jamaican twang many might have not heard outside of the outer boroughs. She cut her teeth at the Nuyorican Poetry Café in New York City’s Lower East Side with an Afro made loftier by Asian roots, if the last name “Chin,” belonging to a Black woman, hadn’t already made that apparent—a kind of multi-ethnicism common in Jamaica.

The provocateur, whose verses that often spoke about vaginas: their physiology, the power they hold and the beholders they make surrender won many a poetry slam nationally and internationally for a kind of free verse heretofore unseen for its brazenness and defiance. How dare she speak of such things with such passion and bravura? And to applause! With her performances and her many chapbooks, including one called “Wildcat Woman,” she caught the eye of Russell Simmons who cast her in the Tony-award-winning ‘Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam,’ which appeared on Broadway. Since then, Staceyann has cemented herself among the greats.

She has had a number of other one-woman shows on and off Broadway, including “Hands Afire” in 2000 and “Unspeakable Things” in 2001. Her 2005 show “Border/Clash: A Litany of Desires” about growing up a half-Black, half-Chinese lesbian in a religiously conservative Jamaica in the 80s debuted on Broadway to rave reviews. She followed it up with the American Book Award-winning memoir “The Other Side of Paradise” in 2009, where she went even deeper into her upbringing and the many traumas of her young life: being abandoned by her mother at birth, not having any relationship or connection to her Asian father, resisting the intrusive hands of her boy-cousin while she lived with her deaf grandmother, and being brutally assaulted by 12 boys while a university student for being a vocal, out lesbian.


Not yet the acclaimed poet, Staceyann grew up admiring and later studied the works of such literary geniuses as Shakespeare, Wordsworth, T.S. Eliot and Derek Walcott in high school and university. Her earliest writing imitated the tone and style of her idols, but seemed inert, void of personal connection. They lacked both relevance and rush. It was not until she fled Jamaica after her assault—where she was perhaps already raw and cracked open—that she homed into a different kind of rhapsody. She discovered the words of Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and June Jordan, and the syncopation of Jean “Binta” Breeze. Staceyann not only found a stable of ideas with a sense of nowness but a staccato she could uniquely animate with her pained body and accented voice.

If only out of vanity she could rest her laurels on her many accomplishments, including being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and CBS’ 60 Minutes, but self-doubt is a motherfucker. It took until 2019 for her to release a book of poetry called “Crossfire: a Litany of Survival” because she thought, as spoken-word, her poetry would be dull in written form, even questioned whether they were any good. Now 48 and a single mother of a 9-year-old, taking stock of the lack of fortunes handed to her in life hits differently. Plus, there’s the little matter of a literary legacy to protect. Surely, her priorities have shifted. Witnessing the ever-widening chasm of many of America’s treacherous social fault lines, including #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, she sees a tsunami rising—even though she had been its oracle the past 20-plus years.

Staceyann Chin, the wildcat woman, is on edge at a time of great hardship and especially for artists whose handicrafts would do much to abate our collective suffering. We sat down with her to discuss her experience, her thoughts on the state of the nation and what she’s imparting to her young daughter to prepare for the forthcoming revolution.

Your grandmother played such a pivotal role in your life. Tell us about those formative years with her.

It’s important to know that her impact remains significant and even critical in my life only because after she and I parted ways, there was no other adult who was consistently kind in whose care I lived. So, my grandmother looms large because of the scarcity in other arenas. The early years of my grandmother were certainly pivotal and critical and significant, in that, she couldn’t hear. So, the way that adults often correct children, I didn’t really have that as a backdrop from my adult, my grown up. She couldn’t hear what we were saying because she was deaf and couldn’t read. So, by the time I started reading, I could read what I wanted without her knowing exactly what it was. So, there was a certain amount of freedom with regard to my own developing philosophies. As a kid, my brother and I were talking about God and the Messiah and history and who was in the Bible, and if the Bible is the story of God’s people and if we are God’s people, why are we not in the Bible? And those were the kind of meandering conversations we had because no one was listening to us. Also, I suppose (now that I think about it), because she couldn’t hear, maybe she used more of her body to speak—maybe the way that she understood understanding. If someone’s talking to her, they would have to point a lot and use their hands. I mean my grandmother was certainly a creature that was dramatic.


You said recently that you learned to tell stories because of her. How so?

Teaching by watching and by telling me stories. I’m not a person who can’t hear. One may spend a lot of time interpreting markers in terms of what you do with your hand or your face or your body and perhaps she would reflect that in the telling of stories. So, almost everything she did she would perhaps act it out in some way or reference it physically. My Instagram post this morning or last night, I can’t remember, I was looking at pictures of my grandmother and when she would talk about dumplings, she would put her hand to say, “the dumpling movement” to making dumplings. When she would say, ‘My grandfather was tall, she wouldn’t just say he was tall, she would say, “Tall. High like so,” (reach her hand up high). But also, I think I learned timing from her; she knew how to lean in and to pull back and to whisper and to use silence. Now that I’m older and I can see it more clearly from a distance, I can see that my grandmother gave me quite a lesson in how to use drama to make a point.

I’ve read that you used to sneak underneath the house to read. How did you discover literature, or did it discover you?

I would read “Macbeth” and “The Merchant of Venice.” I don’t know if at eight or so I knew what those words meant, but I liked the sound of them in my mouth and said them. I also like the sound of the Bible. My grandmother was very religious. It’s left with me a healthy dose of respect for things that I don’t know for sure – for spiritual matters. If you were to pin me down and asked me to say what I am, I would say I’m an atheist. But I think on the edges of that definitive identity or religious identity or spiritual identity, there’s some respect and perhaps some awe for those who believe something I find difficult to believe or to have faith in something that you can’t see, that is only promised but not evidenced.

In this exploration of literature were you at that point interested in poetry at all? When did that awakening or connection happen for you?

I’ve always excelled in school in English literature and language and a lot of that had to do with recitation of poetry. I’m Caribbean. I grew up in Jamaica. We all recited “Daffodils” and Miss Lou’s poetry about the bananas coming. All those poems are still in me. I excelled at those things and not just excelled but enjoyed them. I was in school and doing well with poems and stories and writing and reading; I did well overall. When I went to high school that only kind of blossomed. But I went to a girls’ school, there were very few people interested in the sciences, and because I scored high marks in the sciences as well as the arts, I was compelled to do the sciences because they had to make up numbers for the classes when we separated into elective classes. So, I did the sciences in high school in 10th and 11th grade. Then, when I went to college, Shortwood Teachers’ College, I also did teaching (biochemistry, physics and math). When I finished there with one round of tertiary education, I said, “My God, I don’t want to do the sciences, it largely bores me, I’m not interested in it.” I found myself borrowing books from the English majors, from the history majors and reading those books instead of sitting down and memorizing equations and figuring out the human reproductive system. So, when I transitioned from Shortwood Teachers’ College to head to university, I said, “I will no longer be doing science” and I switched to literature and philosophy.

What was it like to be an out loud lesbian during the 1980s in Jamaica?

Jamaicans are very worried about things being thrown in their face. So, as long as the boy wants to be quiet in the choir and he wants to wear tight pants and he wants to wear more perfume than everybody else and he wants to be any kind of effeminate that he chooses, they don’t mind. He could do the hair, he could help them get their clothes together, all of the ways in which that we have used queer people and required their silence as a kind of pact, contract. Queer people have always existed in Jamaica along the continuum, but my transgression wasn’t that I was gay so much as it was that I was loud about it. I confirmed it publicly. I referred to it every chance I could get, and if I happen to have any kind of love interest, I insisted on our relationship not being fodder for the male gaze. I think that people were upset with that; Being gay is a transgression, but “Yuh, just bright. Yuh just bright and out of order” when you take it upon yourself to be telling people, “Yes, I’m gay. Yes, I participate in cunnilingus. Yes, this is what I’m doing. Yes, I would like to marry a woman” under the tree on campus. Feminism has done the work so that we can necessarily talk about women in that way, but I was out there, participating in the most crass of conversations around sex and sexuality and I think that really just set me up for a fight with people who require silence around women and their sexuality.


Was it as a consequence of the assault that you then left Jamaica?

It was more than a consequence; it was the reason I left. Before the attack, I thought that they would not talk to me, blackball me from social events, I would be a kind of social pariah. I expected some social punishment, some pushback. But I did not expect violence because we were on the campus and everyone knew that the campus was tolerant of all kinds of deviants with regard to conversations around religion, ambiguity with regard to sexuality. Everybody knew that university people were strange that they could get away with a whole bunch of things. I kind of felt like I was in that place where I was safe.

Given many of the traumas you had in your young life, I was surprised it wasn’t until you came to America that you started writing poems. Is this so?

I wrote some really terrible poems earlier on. I wasn’t serious about it nor was I surrounded by people who were intent on teaching me to write poetry. I had a lot of amazing teachers of literature on campus, but I didn’t take writing classes. I don’t think they offered them. Also, the poems existed in a language that was not mine. So, the poems didn’t have the kind of contemporary rush and speed and the beginning of globalization that now exists with us, where so many of the words I write are immediately accessible to even people who don’t speak English. There’s a way that the internet has made the world smaller and language has become more of a global tool. There’s a common language on the internet that we all participate in.

As a feminist, there wasn’t very much. I love Lorna Goodison, but there was something stirring about Lorna Goodison’s work for me. I identified with it deeply. But it didn’t have the kind of unapologetic, unsayable note. She wasn’t writing about vaginas and sexuality and in the same kind of way. She wrote about women’s sexuality in a cloaked form and I knew it was there and identified with it and felt it, but it didn’t come alive for me the way when I came to the U.S. and I saw these poets in the in New York onstage, writing about a language that was alive and now and only referenced the ancient languages. So, it had a nowness; whatever I was living, I could write about it. I felt like a lot of the poems I studied in school were not necessarily about things that were happening now. A lot of the poetry addressed a kind of post-colonial reality or pre-colonial reality. Nobody was talking about young, black girls who wanted to be gay or who wanted to have more in life or who are resisting sexism as it was happening now.

What is it about poetry that hooked you?

When I came to you the U.S. I saw Jean “Binta” Breeze perform and she moved me deeply because her work had a kind of nowness attached to it. It wasn’t referencing or harkening back to an older time that didn’t feel like my time. Poetry seems to be able to hold 100 stories all at once. One line could have a thousand stories simultaneously occurring in a way that maybe literary, prosaic narratives didn’t. I still love those works. In fact, I spend more time with prose than I do with poetry, generally, but the creation of language, the kind of elasticity of it, the kind of bending and twisting. Prose seems to me like you’re weaving a piece of fabric. This is the way to weave it and you’re weaving it, and when it’s finished, it looks very much like a piece of cloth and you can use it for a certain thing. Poetry feels more like you’re just taking whatever form you can and you just twisting it into this giant thing that you’re weaving and it’s not just a cloth, it could be a chair, it could be a window. It just feels like it’s a thousand things all at once; I can tell the story of my mother, I can tell the story of my grandmother, I can tell the story of me, I can tell the story of my daughter, I can tell the story about survival, I can tell the story about not surviving all in one poem.

Beyond the obvious, is there a difference between poetry and spoken-word? What is it about the performative part of it that makes it different?

I think that you can have spoken-word that isn’t poetry just like you can have poetry that isn’t necessarily great for being spoken aloud. Some poems lose some of the texture when you put them onstage when people only hear them because you don’t know where those line breaks are, you don’t know where the pauses are, you don’t see how the words are—whether you make a tab to make a space or you drop down or you begin again in a new line. Edward Kamau Brathwaite, before he died, used to write poems that were visually so rich. So, if you were to attempt just to speak them, you would miss so much. I think that there are different things that are emphasized, depending on what the author intended, and the speaker causes to happen. I tried to straddle both. Maybe some would say because I straddle both, then my work is neither good in either realm, or you can say that I do a great job of straddling and so, I take maybe some of the good parts of the page-poetry and I translate it very well into performance poetry. But my work always begins as a crafted piece of work on the page. I think the more I perform it the more I discover in it that I maybe didn’t intend.


There were not a lot of female spoken-word poets in the early 2000s who had your firebrand of revolutionary and feminist ideas or eccentricism. Do you think at all that your being Jamaican was a key part of that?

It’s the same thing I attribute to my grandmother and her storytelling. The man on the corner in Jamaica is a storyteller. Culturally, we are storytellers. What is a storyteller if not a person who moves an audience to feel something and perhaps even act on something? My friends here who are not Jamaican, when they see me talking to Jamaicans, they realize how remarkably commonplace I am. I think when I come here and I speak out loud or say something, I think maybe Americans tend to have a sense of, “Oh my goodness. She’s so fiery and outspoken and forceful,” and I suppose there is some truth in that, but I’m just Jamaican on steroids. I’m remarkably banal in Jamaica because when a philosophical argument is in tow, or a debate about who is the fastest man in the world, or which song is the best festival song which year, or which is the correct way to prepare rice and peas, any of these moments could be easily translated into a performance piece in a second.

My grandmother attended my birth with my mother and so if I asked her like, “So, Grandma, you said I was born just after midnight, right?” And she’s like, “Yeah! Yeah! Christmas Eve your mother come home…Wait, wait…because Delano was born in the morning, cause you born ‘72, right? Yes. So, Delano was ‘69. I remember ‘69 because it was raining, and because I was working at a police station.” Before you know it, four hours from now I’m still saying to her, “Can you reach my birth?” because she must tell you every story in between and I’m not bored by her storytelling. That is common in Jamaica.

In every description I’ve seen of yours it highlights your Jamaican nationality. You’ve lived in the US now longer than you have in Jamaica and I wonder how you consider your identity now caught between these two cultures?

It’s actually almost exactly half at this point; so, half in Jamaica and half here. I think it’s very difficult to erase the first stains of who you are, the first color imprint. It can’t ever be washed away. So, I can’t forget my accent, and perhaps I am less prone to forget it because my mother was so prone to forgetting hers. My mother left us when I was born, and she did live a life completely informed by a desire to forget where she came from. And so that forgetting had to do with telling people lies about where she was from. Those lies in turn after almost 40 years have become truth inside of her brain. So, there’s a place where reality does not meet what she desires to be and so she struggles with that. She wanted to forget the two children she left behind. She wanted to forget the life of pain. She was living there until she was 23 years old. My mother and I migrated at the exact same time, but when you talk to my mother now, having lived in Montreal, Toronto, Rio and Cologne, Germany, there is no trace of a Jamaican accent. Like none at all. And I remember when I was on Broadway, we would get all these flyers, all these letters delivered to the Broadway show for us. Most of my letters consisted of people offering to help me to lose my accent. I remember digging in and refusing to say water or butter (sounding like the double ds). I wanted to say butter and water and bottle all the time. Even now I struggle with my kid because when we’re doing phonetics and learning to spell, there are many words that she will hear one way and spell another because it sounds like a “d” to her rather than “t.”

Derek Walcott and V.S. Naipaul figure highly in Caribbean literature. You studied with Walcott for six months before he died. What did you learn from him about poetry?

Using constraint; the power of not saying a thing. There’s great power in that. There’s power in the silence of it, especially if you make the audience aware of it, but you don’t necessarily say it.

He said to me, “You have such a gift with words, if you would stop writing about your vagina and women’s rights. In 100 years, nobody will care about women’s rights (because maybe those battles would have been won) and nobody will care about women’s rights. You have to write about things that are enduring.” He didn’t think feminism was a matter for the long haul of philosophy. He and I diverged on that greatly; argued about it a lot. The way that he used that philosophy was deeply sexist and classist with regard to language. Not just the language, but the subject matter, like the quiet around girls and menstruation, the secrecy around sexual violation, the kind of privacy that is afforded to perpetrators of violence against women and children. I like to say it plain and then paint with poetry, and I think [he] likes to paint poetry and then maybe sprinkle a little bit of the plain over it.

There was a way that twisting the English language in minute ways seemed to him more valuable and more of a skill to be admired than he thought breaking the language completely open. He didn’t think that that was powerful. He thought that that was brutish, which is interesting. It’s the conversation about Caliban and Prospero about language. The master, the more you learn his language and the more you learn to manipulate his language is the more valuable you become and the more you are seen as a creature of value. However, if you were to just chop it up the way that ordinary people do, twist up these words and slam them, lose the agreement between the subject and the predicate, throw out the fancy words and twist up the ordinary words the way that Damian Marley did in “Welcome to Jamrock,” then that isn’t necessarily seen as the same kind of high torch poetry as, say, when you can take Shakespeare and cleverly twist three or four phrases from Shakespeare and add a Jamaican phrase or two.


Why did it take you 20 years to release a book of poetry when you had all that much material?

The two things are connected. For a long time, I thought that the language in which I wrote, the subject matters found in my work and the kind of brazen, untraditional literary realities in my work would make it not really poetry. So, there’s a large part of me that still was asking myself, “Is what you write poetry? Does it belong in the canon?” Having studied with Walcott, he would speak of my talent as a poet, but it would always be countered with, “Man, you’re going to be an amazing poet when you stop writing these things, when you start writing about enduring philosophies.” Maybe I was waiting on those enduring philosophies to emerge in my work and for the supposedly banal—the matters of being female and being silenced under the patriarchy. I was maybe at the same time holding onto the subject matter, but perhaps waiting for some part of me that would become more Walcottian and I never did. Because I never did, I never thought that the work was ready. And then I looked up when it was 20 years later and the conversation around Black folk, immigrant folk, women, about all the silence that is a lie around our work and our history, and I said, “If the internet goes blank tomorrow and if all my digital files disappear and then I die, it will be as if there was never this period when a Black Jamaican girl wrote these things, and that pushed me.”

I saw your reading of 'Tsunami Rising' about how white people have co-opted so much of Black people’s experiences, especially Black women and I wonder what your thoughts about a different kind of tsunami are, that of the Black Lives Matter movement, which at first wasn’t resonating with the white American public until the death of George Floyd and it brought about racial unification in a way we haven’t seen in a while. What are your thoughts about it?

Rather than the unification that you talk about, it very clearly denotes the rift down the center of the American political world where actually half of this country believes that there’s no racist problem here and that Black people are making more of it than it actually is, and that white people are losing too much ground. I feel like America will have to come to terms with racism. It would have to come to terms with the brutal kind of racist patriarchal norm that it has championed for hundreds of years—story goin’ come to bump. I think the last four years under the Trump administration has made it so that people can no longer say this problem does not exist. But we are nowhere near coming to a conclusion about the solution it requires.

Much of the space that is being given to Black women is ceremonial. Much of the space given to the conversation around racism and violent racism in this country is a kind of panacea, a Band-Aid, a PR stunt, where people want to be seen as if they are making progressive choices, but the real power is still outside of the hands of people of color and women, particularly Black people, as evidenced by what happened when the pandemic brushed across these United States. Who died? Who is without work? Who continues to make money as the country is in the worst economic downturn in 100 years? Rich, white men? White people of means? I mean, how is it that the world economy crashes and then Jeff Bezos and those people, they’re like 100 billion dollars richer? It’s kind of ridiculous! The economy crashes, but you get super rich. It’s a great time for you because you profit off of the sorrow and trauma and bad luck experienced by everyone else. Something is afoot here. Something is terribly wrong with the way things are set up and what we witnessed under the Trump administration is a kind of illumination of that and people thought that there was going to be some kind of breaking, but America quickly shifted and put Joe Biden in place to calm the waters and perhaps push back the kind of radical political push towards change that was going to probably end in Civil War.


As an artist, how are you and your artist friends weathering this time through the pandemic?

I haven’t worked in nine months and largely I survived. I have always posted work online. There are ways now to monetize your online content and I refused to participate in the monetization because I think after a while I will start writing towards the money. But I think if I’m not writing for a public that is paying me then I think I can perhaps write more honest work. So, I write it and I give it away for free all time. Some of those people who have means or maybe some people without means, really, maybe have a little girl, will CashApp or Venmo. So, I live completely at the mercy of strangers, the generosity of strangers. Some days, some people will Venmo me enough, and some days I’ll make my bills. Some months drag and I won’t make all of the financial responsibilities I have. The wonderfully, horrible thing is that my experience is not singular. It’s happening to everybody. Almost every artist I know, we are all broke and we are at the end of our financial tether, and our credit cards are maxed out, and we are just waiting for either the next stimulus package or just kind of waiting with bated breath for that vaccine, so that we can start figuring out how we’re going to earn our living again. It’s a rough time and I bought a house just before the pandemic, so I was in the middle of renovating and then the world went crazy. The difficulties for me are real and trackable and present. The only thing that keeps me alive, and keeps me going, and keeps me sane is that you’re not the only one. So, if you are to go over the precipice, you won’t be going alone.

You’ve expressed that you credit your grandmother's hard-working history and the pain of your mother's absence for your work, and I wonder now that you are a mother what are the themes of your poetry today?

I write towards a more equal world. I write towards the freedom of those in chains, whether they are financial or philosophical or actual chains—for those people who are incarcerated still and even those who we are planning to kill; not just hold them in boxes, but to kill them at the appointed time of our choosing. I’m concerned about the lives of people of color. I am deeply interested in the question of immigration, migration. What is it? What does it do to us? What do we gain? What do we lose from it? How does it color us? Does it make us different from people who sit still in one place and never move? When you have a child in another country, what does it mean about tradition and identity with regard to the family? Those things concern me now.

You have a young daughter. What are you educating her about race and womanhood, especially as a first-generation American?

I try to tell her that her body is her own; I begin with that. I tell her that she should respect the bodies of other people. I try to tell her that her place in the world is only guaranteed if she works for a better version of it. She earns the right to be a legal citizen of the world by working towards making the world better for other people who come after her. I try to give her space to speak and to argue with me. We have loud, rushing arguments with each other. But I’m also Caribbean and so I like to tell her, “You can’t do that. Don’t do that.” Then she’ll tell me, “How is it that you’re telling me my body is my own and I can’t do that?” Then we go into the tailspin of the Caribbean, progressive, radical, feminist mother, raising a child with a history of ways of being embedded in her DNA. It sends us into a tailspin, and we write more poetry.

So, is the ‘wildcat woman’ tamed?

At first glance it might seem so. I imagined myself a bit of a caveman before I had a child, where I was kind of roaming from whatever may feel good; I’ll just follow my nose. I’ll just go here, to Britain, I’ll spend some time in Scandinavia, go to Jamaica, I will move from lover to lover. But now that I have a child, I feel like I have to evolve into the hunter-gatherer era of my life where I have to hunt and gather to feed more than one person. In the last year, I’ve had to come to terms with becoming the farming person, where you have to sit still and plant. I’ve become a person who is interested in the permanence of home and what that means.

I think it is remarkably radical to raise a kid the way that I’m raising a kid. I tell people all the time in my twenties, I walked around with a sledgehammer and broke anything that I could find. In my thirties, I tried out the, “Okay. Well, let’s see if we can do it more of a scalpel like approach.” Now that I’m heading towards 50, I can completely see the need for both. So, maybe in the hand that is tucked behind me I have the scalpel, and maybe the sledgehammer is sitting at my foot, and then I decide which is necessary, or when to use both. I think I have bursts of being wildcat woman and I also have times when I am required to be the tamed one, but I feel them equally present.

What are we missing to kickstart the revolution you so often speak of?

I just saw Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with Chadwick [Boseman] and his character is remarkable, in that he was trying to plan ahead where he was going to trick and do this quiet conversation with the white man and smile and, “Yes, sir. Yes, sir.” And then he was going to use that to his advantage. But in the end, he became the one with the knife, with the violence erupting from him. And I don’t know if one method works anymore. I think in a real revolution where all of the body is present—and when I say “body” here, I don’t necessarily mean just your whole body, like all of you: whether you are a fighter, or a planner, or a wait-and-seer or an eruptor. All of the body meaning the body of people who will form that revolution who will rise up against injustice. I feel now that there is desperate need for all hands on deck.

I’m but one body, and each moment I have is just one moment in that long journey. And so, my teaching Zuri to think critically and to take up space and to challenge ideas that seem unfair is a part of the revolution because then, you create the next generation of people who will seed the next Civil Rights Movement, will seed the next secession from big imperialistic countries that walk into other places and occupy them. I’m not quite concerned with how people see me. I’m more interested in what I really am. Sometimes you can’t be the person in the front making the big speech, but you can be the person guiding the pen of the person who will write for that person. So, we need soldiers coming up and someone has to train them and love them and encourage them and encourage them to dream beyond what we even saw for ourselves or even saw for them.

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