October is Literacy Month, and you’re probably wondering what exactly does that mean to us. Well let me break it down real quick, literacy is the ability to both read and write. Sadly one-third of Miami-Dade’s children are not reading at grade level in the third grade. Compared with other counties in the state of Florida Miami-Dade has the lowest literacy rates by a margin of about 20 percent.
Finding this information out, what do you do? You might quickly assume there isn’t much you can do, besides tweet and complain about it amongst your peers. Ha, that wasn’t the case at all, when it came to 22 year old Tierra Traniece. Tierra Traniece, is known as her the author of The Furthest Thing From Perfect, and 30: Positive Things You Should Do This Month. Tierra Traniece is also known as a poet, who says what’s on her mind, addressing topics close to home that she’s experienced, in a way that you listen, you may or may not relate, but you respect her boldness. At such a young age, Tierra is blessed to know what she was put on earth to do. To inspire, to motivate and to use her words in a positive way.
Tierra Traniece worked at a summer camp and was taken back at the fact that these elementary school kids despised reading, but not because they were lazy, but because sadly they didn’t know how to read. So Tierra started off by collecting children’s books, with a goal of 500. But that wasn’t enough, she was determined to shed light and awareness on the issues pertaining to literacy in our city.
Tierra presented an innovated way to get her peers, and fellow poets’ involved with the awareness of literacy in our city, schools, and amongst our youth. She came up with the First Annual: Slam For Literacy Poetry Slam. She put together Slam For Literacy to not only revive the dying poetry culture but to also bring awareness to the community about literacy. Reading is fundamental, we have to teach and show our children how critical reading is to our everyday lives. Children are the future. In the words of Kanye West “Listen to the children bro”.
Slam For Literacy was picture-perfect. There was a cupcake give away from the one and only mouth-watering, finger licking, Moe’s Sweet Delights. Tierra had the room set up like her very own classroom. Talk about speaking things into existence. It was such a well put together event in which we stepped in to the culture, while also giving back to the children, our future. Tierra debuted her latest poem titled ‘De$igner”, which blew us away. Like always Tierra tells how it is, reminding us, that she has big dreams, and is doing whatever it takes to make them a reality. Addressing every day topics, in a unique yet clever way. From the wickedly talented poets who showcased their talents, to the music provided by The Pyrvmids, everything as superb. My favorite round of the poetry slam was the last round, which was the
Black Lives Matter round. Each poet who made it to this round had the whole room either in tears, or with goose bumps. Each word had our jaws dropping, rather you related or understood, it was felt in a powerful way. Tierra had a packed out poetry slam, in the middle of Opa Locka. I don’t think you guys understand what that means to the city, to the culture, and more importantly to the kids. Tierra Traniece had a packed out poetry slam in the middle of Opa Locka on a Saturday night, that’s major! And yes I said it twice, no typo!
Tierra you did an amazing job! Thank you so much for inviting me into your world, and into your life. Thank you for acknowledging the literacy problems in our city, and more importantly taking action. You had the hood and the hipsters in one room, in the middle of Opa Locka tuned into every word at a poetry slam on a Saturday night. If not you, then who?