I am 27 and have never killed a man
but I know the face of death as if heirloom
my country memorizes murder as lullaby
—from “For Fahd”
Textured with the sights and sounds of growing up in East New York in the nineties, to school on the South Side of Chicago, all the way to the olive groves of Palestine, My Mother Is a Freedom Fighter is Aja Monet’s ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters—the tiny gods who fight to change the world. Complemented by striking cover art from Carrie Mae Weems, these stunning poems tackle racism, sexism, genocide, displacement, heartbreak, and grief, but also love, motherhood, spirituality, and Black joy.
Praise for Aja Monet:
““[Monet] is the true definition of an artist.”
““In Paris, she walked out onto the stage, opened her mouth and spoke. At the first utterance I heard that rare something that said this is special and knew immediately that Aja Monet was one of the Ones who will mark the sound of the ages. She brings depth of voice to the voiceless, and through her we sing a powerful song.”
—Carrie Mae Weems
Of Cuban-Jamaican descent, Aja Monet is an internationally established poet, performer, singer, songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate. Monet is also the youngest person to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title.
"We who follow the dynamic poetry of Aja Monet know her to be a wizard of optimism and musicality. My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter reminds us of her wisdom. These poems are made of the black woman genius they praise: "the ghost of women once girls," "mothers who did the best they could," and "daughters of a new day." Monet is a child of old school black power and a daughter of the myriad political traumas of today. Her poetry is indispensable. These poems are fire.”
–Terrance Hayes, author of How to Be Drawn