Please see a written version of Shanika's poem below.
My voice has developed over the years
It’s taken some time to get here
Molded by the words of those around me
My grandma and aunties spoke light into my future, things I couldn’t see
I’ve grown into this young woman and now my nieces watch what I say
I have to be more than just a role model, my duty is to pave the way
So, I follow the path of Sojourner and speak my truth
I stand for equality, in my resume is the proof
My voice matters as much as my black life does
All that I am is to be greater than I was
Behind the Scenes with Shanika Adkins
Shanika Adkins is a WOW! Support Line Specialist in Burlington, New Jersey. An avid writer, 'The Voice' is just one of her many works of poetry. Join us as she explains the meaning behind this piece.
How did the idea for this piece start?
This piece was intended to cultivate pride and analyze the different life moments that brought me to where I am today. At one point, I was characterized as someone who was shy and not very vocal. This poem is a statement recognizing the power that I have in my voice and finding strength in it.
Can you tell us more about the creation of this piece?
When I write poetry, I speak my truths through experiences I've had. I wanted to create a piece in celebration of Black History Month. As a black woman, I believe I am every part of Black History in the making.
Why did you choose this medium (poetry)?
I identify as being very artistic. I love the arts in various forms! Poetry is a form of art and I love the skill of using our words to express our feelings.