Lakiba Pittman 

Lakiba Pittman

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 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.

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