Lakiba Pittman is a poet, creative artist, educator, and business consultant. In 2020, she opened as a feature guest poet at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) Open Mic Series in San Francisco. She has exhibited her art with The Black Woman is God art exhibits for several years in San Francisco and was one of the featured artists at the exhibit at SomARTS in 2022. That exhibit is currently being featured at San Francisco State University. Her art has also been featured at the African American Art & Cultural Center in San Francisco. She is a Professor at Menlo College where she teaches Diversity in the Workplace, Culture in Media, and Race & Racism. She also designs and delivers specialized workshops on cultural sensitivity and competency, and on reducing bias through mindful practices. Lakiba teaches public and private classes and workshops on compassion, wellness, and self-care. She is certified by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE) and is a Senior Instructor teaching Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) workshops. She is certified as a Compassion Ambassador through the Applied Compassion Academy at Stanford University. Working with CCARE, the Compassion Institute and Compassion Corps, Lakiba develops and delivers classes, workshops, and culturally relevant compassion training throughout the Bay Area in person and on Zoom globally.
Poems on Belonging
Diasporic dreams rush into my nighttime slumbers and awakens me at midnight with remembrances of drumbeats and high trees and sweet smells and running barefoot and dancing free with brightly colored fabrics and I hear whispers upon my soul inviting me to sing and dance and listen. Yes. Listen and know that I am never alone even in this seeming dark hole where some would try to deny my light but I’m bright enough to awaken my own soul I remember the ancestors and call out and they answer in metaphors and fables and testimonies and folktales and whispers upon my essence And these words imprint upon my life acknowledging the power that resides within blessing me with memories of yesterday to inspire my todays, my moments and even now I breathe a new breath of love because you are here with me and it feels just like home.
I AM THE INSTRUMENT I play within the rhythms of my own life seeking a pathway of light and wonder and tiny pathways and cavernous entry points. I have no limits, no boundaries except to love fully so, I improvise each new day and I whisper. I drum. I dance. I am the instrument through which I play the melody of my life. I call upon the ancestors who whisper new songs within my spirit and I don’t hold back. I give it all I’ve got. I step in unencumbered, unabashedly because the world is on fire and I am the water. The land is dry, and I am the tears. The fear is growing, and I’ve got the love. I am the instrument inspired to resonate within your heart To vibrate within your soul To reverberate within your mind. I am the rock. The truth. The light. I am called. And I answer that call. I play in beliefs. In prophecies. In stories, so that even when your ears don’t hear me Your heart does. Your soul knows Your spirit set free I am the compassionate revolutionary. I am Word The Griot I am the Instrument
Copyright © 2022 by Lakiba Pittman. Used with permission of the author.