NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: Poet Kweisi Gharreau On How Spoken Word Helped Him Forgive His Brother’s KillersBy Kweisi Gharreau | April 4, 2023 | Gal Approved
In honor of National Poetry Month this April, we hand the reigns over to our pal and poet Kweisi Gharreau who shares how the art form of spoken word helped him forgive his brother Lemont’s killers.
“On January 24th, I became an official Nominee for The Mayor’s Office in coordination with the Chicago Public Library, the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and the Poetry Foundation Inaugural Chicago Poet Laureate Program. I have been pitching myself and seeking the Mayor’s office since the late Mayor Daley was in office in 1997 to create this position of creative service to the city. I took one more shot and pitched myself to the Mayor’s Office during the summer of 2021. I am euphoric to see the office and the universe heard me.
Therefore, I want to humbly introduce the world to my creative works, my purpose and my passion through my poetry. As a poet/self-published author and activist, I creatively share my personal story through spoken word. I also speak on the topics of racism in America, how systemic racism affects the Black and Brown communities and overcoming life’s adversities through art.
I became a poet because of the intrepid act of my younger brother, James Lemar Ford, a.k.a. Lemont. Lemont forfeited his life to save a friend’s life. Lemont was brutally murdered in Chicago on January 11, 1992. Poetry empowered me to write, meet and forgive my brother’s killers.
Understanding systemic racism, institutional oppression, poverty, lack of education and economic opportunities empowered me not to continue to perpetuate violence in my community.”
photo credit: courtesy of the artist.