[Spokane, Wash.] Several years ago, spoken word champion Ashlee Haze was thrilled to meet her idol, Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Missy Elliott. The hip-hop icon had heard Haze’s performance of her poem “For Colored Girls who Don’t Need Katy Perry when Missy Elliott is Enough” – which went viral – and was so moved that she showed up on Haze’s doorstep.
The lyrics resonated with Elliott and, Haze hoped, with other women and girls who looked like her: “…I will tell you that on the days I don’t feel pretty / I hear the sweet voice of Missy singing to me / pop that pop that, jiggle that fat / don’t stop, get it til your clothes get wet / I will tell you that right now there are a million / black girls just waiting to see someone who looks like them.”
Haze will bring her lyrical, poignant spoken word talents to Spokane Falls Community College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Her performance will take place on January 18 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the college’s Student Union Building Lounge (the event is sponsored by the college’s Black Student Union).
Residing in Atlanta, GA, Haze is a poet and spoken word artist, who earned the nickname “Big 30” due to her perfect competition scores. Her website describes her as “one of the most accomplished poets in the sport of poetry slam.” Haze won the title of Queen of the South Poetry Slam Champion three times, is a two-time Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist and a two-time National Poetry Slam semi-finalist. Among other bonafides, Haze appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk series and is the host of the Moderne Philosophy educational podcast.
Haze started her writing career in high school. She was a Grand Prize Winner in a youth poetry slam, and, by her senior year of high school, she had already published three poems in national publications.
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CCS provides education and services in a six-county region of Eastern Washington, operates Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College and is the largest provider of Head Start and Early Childhood Education in the region. Each year, nearly 30,000 people – from infants to senior citizens – are provided educational services by CCS.