Black Woman Breathing Poetry

Read my interview with amazing Fee Thomas who is a poet and an activist for Black rights and social justice.

“The initial traumas were the genocide of the Native Americans and the enslavement of African people. America, she was beyond traumatized by all of that. Secrets hidden. Wounds never healed. Time passed, but trauma is different. It runs by no man’s clock. And we have seen this before: a trigger of the initial trauma. Fight or flight- Riots, chaos, pandemonium, fighting. Yeah, yeah, what we’re experiencing now…we saw a trigger and all of America is having a body memory, alright.” – Fee Thomas, Weeping America.

A great poet and activist, Fee Thomas uses her poetry to raise the discussion on the current social injustices facing African Americans and other minorities here in the United States. She talks to us today about why she chose this path of activism and why she just cannot keep quiet in a society that systematically marginalizes and discriminates against its own citizens.
Can you tell us about yourself and how you became a poet?
Fee Thomas
I have been writing since as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I had little diaries that I wrote in, and when I’m writing I’m not in an intellectual place, I’m in a spiritual place. It just comes out, I’m not really conscious of what I’m doing, I’m just doing, I’m just letting go. I don’t know how it started exactly, I just know that it is, and I just kind of accept it.
We’ve seen quite a number of your poems on your blog. Do you have a book published as well?
Fee Thomas
I have a website called, I have some of my poems there. I also have some poems on my blog. That’s pretty much all.
And do you have plans of compiling your work into a book? 
Fee Thomas
Yes, I do. I have plans of that. Writing comes easy, but the business part confuses me a little bit. The writing comes freely from my heart-spirit connection, but the business part seems very complicated to me. But I’m trying to learn more about it.
You talk about the struggles of Black women in some of your poems. What inspires you to talk about such issues? Is it personal experiences, those of family members or friends?
Fee Thomas
I suppose because that’s where I come from and it’s not that far away from me. I’m a part of all that was before me. And so I can’t separate where I am from where I come from. It’s like the energy in the air. I’m very thankful for the women that came before me and what they have gone through, and so I feel like there is a necessity to highlight what they went through before I existed so that I could learn and have the experiences that I have now. My great-grandmother didn’t have a great education, and that’s something that I know she would want to have, but it was denied her. And so if I’m able to read and write, it’s not just for me, but it is for her too. I think about what she would think about that.
Are you involved in any Black rights movements?
Fee Thomas
I try my best to use my voice as what I know to be involved, to spread knowledge, to educate and to say that what we’re being witness to is not acceptable. When I see a video tape of police brutality, I think about my brothers and father, they are not any different from the people that I love, they are me. And I can’t be silent about that. They are very much my brothers and sisters and I can feel the suffering and it’s not OK with me what’s going on and I pray for more courage. I pray for the ability to speak up and speak out in a way that people will listen and understand that it is not OK what is going on. This cannot continue!
Do you take part in protests and do you support them?
Fee Thomas
I support protests, absolutely. I have always supported protests.
What is poetry to you? Is it a hobby or is it something you do as a job or something that helps you to express yourself?
Fee Thomas
Poetry is what helps me breathe. It is why I am still alive. I don’t get any money from it and it’s not a hobby, it is what I hold on to.
What would you like to say to our readers?
Fee Thomas
I think that now is a very dark time, I feel heavy. But history has shown that it is during these times that our past leaders have won. And so I would say, especially to our youth and to some of our leaders that have come, now is the time for more courage and resilience!

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