Once upon a time…

My mom, two sisters, and I

If you guys are in school, then you know that it is the end of the semester (AKA “final season” AKA “let me learn everything that my professor told me to read months ago”). 

This kind of gives an explanation as to why I have not been able to post that much lately. ANYWHO…

This morning, in my Gender Violence class, I had to give a presentation about my volunteer work that I’ve been doing at The Family Place. Simple enough, right? (That’s a rhetorical question, guys.)

Of course it’s not that simple! It’s MY life we’re talking about here!

The Family Place is a women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence. After months of being there, I fell in love with the place, the people, and the environment. I realized that I had more in common with these women than I would have ever thought. I always looked at it as I was going there to help them, but they actually helped me.

One thing that I’ve never talked about or shared with very many people (especially a large group like my class earlier) was that I actually grew up in a household with domestic violence. I promise I’m not trying to blast you, Mom. (Yes, my Mom reads my blog.)

I found it almost therapeutic to be able to put a face to many of the statistics about which we were reading. 

Domestic violence is a very real act and it is something that should be discussed. My class (especially the Black students) got a kick out of when I said, “I never talked about what it was like in my household growing up because, as Black people, we are taught not to go to a therapist. We are taught to go to church!” 

Of course I believe that religion plays a big role in dealing with things, but at the same time, we feel as though need to share our stories with someone that we feel is not judging us.

What have you been through that you’re withholding? What has happened in your life that can benefit someone else? What issues have you encountered that you could use to help someone else that is in a similar situation?

I’ve learned that there are certain situations that can’t just be looked at and thought about with the attitude that “IT IS WHAT IT IS“. 

Your story can always help someone else. I don’t know who may have needed to hear what I said earlier, but I’m sure it was someone. If life were easy, the word “testimony” wouldn’t start with “test”

My challenge to you is to share a bit of your story with someone. If you have no one, you can share it with me. I’ll listen. =)

Stay blessed, my people. →


Just wanted to share the second poem I’ve written on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Enjoy:


My Lies, My Eyes

I play in the wound on my Mother’s breast

Parading around in her heartland


Not twice did I ask about the bruise above her left eye or

The scab left on her right ankle


I was conceived from my Mother’s rape and

Told she was over it


I was lied to

And so were you


I was given to my stepmom before

I was considered


Through no DNA links but

Through chains of steel


My stepmother told me false accounts

Of how my Mother was over the nightmares


They deceived me

As they did you


My Mother Africa still weeps today

While Mrs. America tells me that her struggles of yesterday

Are not my own


-Shelby Lott



1. I’m so sorry about taking so long to update my blog, guys!

2. A lot of people have asked in the past why I don’t share my poetry on my blog and well…I never had an answer. So guess what, people…I’ve decided to share.


As you may or may not know, I am currently on a Civil Rights Pilgrimage for Spring Break with my school. We are traveling throughout the South, retracing the steps of the people before us and learning of their struggles.

It has been an amazing journey and made me reflect on how we all still share a link to them today. The fight is not over and the same tenacity that they had in them, we have in us. Hence, the poem. Read it and be blessed, my people.


Living Water


I stand tall upon the thighs given by my grandmother

Drenched in her sweat and tears

Making them my own


I bleed the blood of my grandfather

His body lay slain in the ditch of inequality


I dance with the feet of my mother

Trailing the unpaved roads with

Swollen and bare hymns


I ball up the fist of my father

Sharing the veins of authority

Boasting our power


I am who they are

We are

Each other


-Shelby Lanette


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