BHM Heroes: Danez Smith

During the month of February, BRTW ensemble members are selecting personal Black heroes to highlight everyday. These heroes may have spoken the magic words that first made them see their Black beauty, the people who inspired them to become artists, or even the person who taught them how to make proper mixed greens.

Danez Smith is a writer, poet, activist, spoken word performer. He first came to my attention from a dear friend for his outstanding spoken word piece, “Dear White America. I have been deeply inspired by his works ever since. Danez has authored two books and is a two-time World Poetry Slam finalist. His work has been featured and published in Blavity, Buzzfeed, Poetry Magazine and Beloit Poetry Journal.

Danez is a true artist. His work critically analyzes the state of Black men and Women in the US and he is a palpable voice for Queer Black Men. His work has inspired me to approach pop culture with a sharper eye, to be as acerbic and merciless about the transgressions that affect Blacks in this country as needed. And to be unrelenting in our quest to be heard.

I recommend his spoken word pieces Dinosaurs in the Hood as well as Dear White America, included below.

BRTW salutes your role in the revolution, Danez!

Jovan Davis
Ensemble Member