Brandon Leake was the first spoken word poet to be allowed to audition (he was turned down by America’s Got Talent screeners 3 years ago).
Last night, he broke through huge barriers to bring poetry to the mainstream by winning America’s Got Talent. He’ll have a VEGAS show, people.
He performed work that was unapologetically BLM. His work is multifaceted, a showcase of diverse emotional content that has universal appeal. He’s likable, smart, a teacher, a great ambassador for a public who needs a “way in” to poetry.
Where are poet allies when such fruit is so low hanging? This is an easy one. Go give the guy some snaps, visit his site, promote the cause.
Sad to say it, but I’m not hearing huzzahs from any of the big dogs who “influence” the culture. Makes me grumble about toxic culture, lack of diversity in the literary universe, and fake allyship. Prove me wrong. Tell me I missed an important statement. I’ll wait.