Ebony Washington

Ebony Washington

 New York City, New York, USA
BandSpoken Word

Ebony Washington is a spoken-word artist who turns social commentary into art...

Biography

Ebony Washington is a spoken-word artist who turns social commentary into art. She began performing poetry during her senior year at Hofstra University. Upon the completion of her degree in film production, Ebony quickly gained notoriety performing at all of New York City's hot spots. Her passionate politics and courage to tackle tough issues made her a crowd favorite and earned her the nickname "Poetlician." Ebony has featured at venues and colleges across the country. She wowed audiences across the United States and in Europe.

In 2001, Ebony left her job as a New York City Public School Teacher and formed POetLITICAL, Inc. to counter overwhelmingly violent and sexually charged popular music. POetLITICAL, Inc.'s mission is to bring socially conscious arts back to popular culture and to promote artists who confront society's injustices through their work. Shortly after, Ms. Washington began recording her debut CD which combines poetry reminiscent of her lyrical influences The Last Poets, Nikki Giovanni and KRS1 with a radical fusion of musical genres that includes Modern Rock, Hip Hop, Blues, and Jazz.

Ebony Washington's energetic performances ultimately lead her into theater and screen acting. She has appeared in several independent films and off-Broadway productions. Her poem "I've Got Rhythm" on women in music videos received critical acclaim from www.theatermania.com following her appearance in the off-Broadway production “A Message in our Music”. In January 2003, Ms. Washington won the Aretha Franklin/Nikki Giovanni Poetry Competition sponsored by BET and Sony Music, and judged by Nikki Giovanni. The competition aired on BET's spoken word series Lyric Cafe in April and the winning poem "Right Here" written for the women in Afghanistan was published in 'Essence' Magazine. In April 2004, Ms. Washington was awarded a fellowship from New York Foundation of the Arts.

Ebony Washington recently released her debut album Revolutionary Kind of Girl currently on sale. She will be performing a revival of her one woman play Cross Lines: A Black Woman's Perspective on American Politics and posts regularly to he blog which she is developing into a memoir.

Testimonials
“…but there was one poem to beat and no one has done that yet that poem is ‘Right Here’
by Ebony Washington.” - Nikki Giovanni, Poet/ Author

“Ebony Washington’s work is an iconoclasm on steroids! Her rapid-fire rendering is
beyond rant. She deviates above the norm. Don’t Blink!” -Bruce George, Executive
Producer of Def Poetry Jam

“Soul stirring political poet, Ebony Washington educates her audience with insightful
analogies by taking you there…” -Jennelle Mahone-Sy, Essence Magazine

“Hearing Ebony live is an experience mixed with beat, passion, heart and energy that
awakens listeners to real life issues that affect each one of us today. -John Mascetta, Assistant Director of Campus Activities for Pace University Pleasantville –NY

“…Her charisma is Contagious!!!” -Jamie O’Mally, Spring Hill College Multicultural
Student Union President- AL

“Pizzazz one of many attributes Ebony brings to the stage. Her passion will ignite the
audience leaving them breathless. She is a must see…” -Kirk Daley, Director of Student
Activities of Bronx Community College –NY

“Ebony’s Poetry knocks at the very core of the soul. It reawakens our consciousness
sending poetic waves at the speed of light. Her words powerful just as the woman she is.”
Grace Addow, President of African Students’ Association of Baruch College- NY

“Ms. Washington’s brilliant performance will have you enlightened culturally and
politically. You will leave thinking in ways you never have before.” -Tinishia Bass, Brookdale College Black Student Union President -NJ

“[Ebony]…laced her strongly delivered poems with visions of oppression, the slave
trade, and body image…”- Brita Brundge, Arts Editor of Fairfield County Weekly- CT

Lyrics

Right Here

Written By: Ebony Washington

I could have been right there with you
Tossing my veil in the wind
Running in the mist of war
Smiling at my liberation
I could have torched my brassiere
Danced and cheered
For deliverance by bonfire
But instead I am constructing new ways to create miracles
And asking I am Victoria to keep my secret.

I could have been right there with you
Covered from head to toe
Stoned to death for revealing an ankle
But I am right here with you raised on Vogue and Elle magazine
Chastised because my skirt falls two inches above my knee

I could have been right there with you
Property of another hidden away unable to go out alone
But I am right here with you a commodity bought and sold
An accessory matching well with expensive cars and gold

I could have been right there with you
One of four wives
But I am right here with you one of four “wifeys”
Living in poverty
Used and discarded
Bombarded with rhetoric of my freedom

I could have had my femininity cut from me
And my womb sewn shut
I could have had a belt of armor strapped
And locked around my pelvis
but I mutilate myself thousands of times a year
To fit into a plastic mold
And chastity
Was stolen form me when I was just a child

I could have stood scantily clad
In a case of glass
A specimen in a human zoo
Turned European tourist attraction
But I am right here harassing me is just a minor infraction

I could have could have been right there with you
Beaten and raped
But I am right here with you
Because date rape is impossible to prove
And police officers don’t get involved domestic disputes

I could have been burned alive at a stake
For practicing an ancient ritual

I could have been the source of all evil
Bringing forth doom by opening a box
Femininity plus curiosity killed humanity
And a bite of fruit
Constitutes an eternity of inequality

I could have been your temptress harlot or jezebel
Instead I am your trifling hoe and aggressive bitch
With casting couch and glass ceiling dreams
And right here things as good it seems

See a sip of Coca-Cola
And a shopping spree
won’t make you free
And the Taliban
Ain’t the only villain

Patriarchy
Reigns across all terrain
And dominates globally
And on television
And women’s lib gets set back every hour on the hour
Contrary to western propaganda
My sisters
we are all in this together

As you embark on your endeavor
To reclaim what was already yours
I am sending this right there to you
To let you I am right here

Applicant #14

Written By: Ebony Washington

How can I sleep
Knowing their is a qualified person on the street
How can I can accept the your quota
Knowing my presence is based on a number
How can I support affirmative action
When it will only cause a distraction

Well I never applied for that job as a slave
That’s one position the New World freely gave
Affirmative action was common practice
When work was back breaking
And you were the ones taking
choose me because you knew I would not be easily mistaken

This placement
Was clearly based
Upon my race
But I didn’t hear any complaints
Then the only quota
That concerned America
Was the number of captives
You could fit on a boat
And still manage to stay a float

It’s no secret
That the privilege you inherit
Was based on my merit
But now you dare question
My qualification

Well my resume spans four hundred years of oppression
With little sign of aggression
My reason for leaving my last position
Well they did sign the Emancipation Proclamation
Figured it was my chance to advance
But then to put me on hold
You hired your old friend Jim Crow
Segregation became the 20th century’s status quo

I had to take racial epithets
Endure physical threats
I had to keep my head held high
And my eyes on the prize
I had to walk through water hoses before I could come out dry

And no I have never been convicted of a felony
But I did do time in several precincts
For my civil disobedience

My references are engraved on the faces of your dead presidents
But you won’t distribute them proportionately upon my request

To them you’ve built
Monuments used for trade
While you step on my ancestors graves
Ignoring the fact that the founding fathers you praise
Were all owners of slaves

Through currency
Flows a current
Of slave blood spilling over and trickling down into the current economy
Camouflaged behind this black/ white dichotomy
Breads financial inequalities

And though today you are that Equal Opportunity Employer
No longer do you deserve to be blamed for the mistakes of your predecessors
But you have never given me the opportunity to become an equal competitor

Failing schools are the tools used to ail my community
Brown may have overturned Plessy
But we continue to occupy separate and unequal facilities
How can you expect us to reach our full abilities

This unwritten clause
Makes success implausible
And it would be criminal
To tell them things are equal
Knowing that the system was tailored to induce failure

Affirmative action is the last crutch we grasp
Trying to break past
This American cast system

And it may pail you to discover
The scale in this country has always been tipped
But it’s the only way to dispel this reverse racism myth

Discography

Revolutionary Kind of Girl(Preview CD) - EP 2002
Revolutionary Kind of Girl- LP 2004

Set List

SET OPTIONS

PROGRAM #1- SOLO SHOW

Crosslines: A Black Woman's Perspective on American Politics

Crosslines is a comical and yet very serious look at American Politics in the Bush era and the promise of hope and change in the Obama era.

Award winning performance poet Ebony Washington travels across the country to discuss the political views of four different African- American women.

Meet N.K Parker, millionaire real estate investor, Keisha K., around the way girl and disenfranchised voter, Ms. Hattie, southern grandmother and Bush democrat, and Tiphanie, college student turned activist.

PROGRAM #2 - POETRY SET

A typical poetry set for Ebony Washington may include these poems.

*The Good Fight (a poem dedicated in honor of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to run for President of the United States and a Great American hero.)

*Right Here (a poem written originally for the women of Afghanistan, but its propose is to unite all women across the glo