Student Spoken Word

April 21, 2017

During our last Open Heart/Open Mic event of the academic year on April 19, 2017 , Statistics major and Political Science minor, Grace Cristiani shared her poem “Nevertheless, She Persisted” We are sharing here for your delight!

“Nevertheless, She Persisted”
By: Grace Christiani

Her uniform is a pantsuit
And her stage is capitol hill.
She stands before 83 men, 16 women
And she reads the words of Coretta Scott King.
She is barred from floor discussion on a cabinet pick
Majority leader says:
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation.
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Her uniform is a modest dress
And her stage is a segregated bus.
She sits in the first row of black seats,
And she is told to move for a white man.
She is told again and the police are called.
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Her uniform is a hijab
And her stage is Pakistan.
She writes behind a computer screen
And advocates for girl’s education.
She was sent threats for her activism,
And on the bus home from school she was shot.
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation.
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Her uniform is rags and dirt worn clothes,
And her stage is southern plantations.
She leads mothers, fathers, and children away from slavery
Under the guidance of the north star.
Her face is on posters in town and she is hunted with guns
And threatened of lynchings.
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation.
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Her uniform is pretty red dress and white blazer
And her stage is 1960 Mississippi.
She walks into an all white school,
Four federal marshals covering her.
Parents and citizens protest to keep her from learning.
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation.
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Her uniform is a victorian dress,
And her stage is the voting booth.
She casts a ballot for president
In a time where women aren’t allowed to vote.
She is given a fine and arrested.
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation.
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Their uniforms range are everything: mother, teacher, doctor, politician
And their stage is the streets.
They make signs and hats
And they organize rallies so their voices can be heard.
They fight in the name of their neighbors, their daughters, their friends.
For women they’ve never met, for women who have died, and women yet to be born.
They fight in the name of these words:
“She was warned.
She was given an explanation.
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Women mentioned (in order)
Elizabeth Warren // Rosa Parks / /Malala Yousafzai // Harriet Tubman // Ruby Bridges // Susan B. Anthony // Women everywhere