Tanesha C. Blackmon respects the opportunity to gain the ear and believes her responsibility is to foster growth through the spoken word she has nurtured since an early age.
A lover of art that uplifts the spirit or speaks to the suffering, ButterSoulFly recently re-released her debut spoken word album, the independently produced-But Her Soul Flies: The album, which can be described as honest, encouraging and uplifting. It was a labor of love for the poet who says her goal is to provide alternatives to people who want to hear a positive word.
"My goal was to create a work that would encourage someone to hold on.
A legacy I and my ancestors could be proud of,” she says. “This project is so much bigger than me because I am standing on the shoulders of those who came before me.”
After receiving her B.S. degree from Eastern Michigan University in Professional Writing on the Dean’s list, Blackmon began freelance writing through her imprint, Write Now! Communications- a professional writing service designed to feature her experience writing freelance news and feature journalism, public relations and creative writing. During this time, she amassed a large selection of clips especially related to arts, diversity, culture and human-interest stories.
Blackmon served several years as a regular contributor to the Ypsilanti Courier and as a features editor at the Eastern Echo where she interviewed people like Joe Clark and the legendary Last Poets for a series of features that highlighted the beauty and struggle of the black experience. During this time, Blackmon was the first college daily editor to produce a full page spread on the Last Poets (most recently noted for their 2016 induction into the Smithsonian museum of African American history).
Over the years, she received awards for her efforts including the Community Journalism Award from the Michigan Press Association, and the Phyllis Wheatley award from the NAACP; EMU student chapter. Her interview subjects' range from NFL players who believed in community work to R& B songbirds like Dave Hollister.
Is the world ready for an ambitious debut album she dubs as "Spoken Soul" poetry? "I believe so," she says. "I believe in spoken word activism. People are ready for more. To be engaged. To jam to art they don't have to be ashamed of," she says.