Takarra Johnson Sacramento, CA

Takarra “KariJay” Johnson is a Sacramento native who loves influencing change through Spoken Word Poetry. Takarra is involved in her community and hopes to spread her home influence of love and unity to the world abroad. She is an established poet, winning multiple competitions within the Greater Sacramento Area. Takarra aspires to be an educator and believes that people must learn where they come from to be powerful and plans to do so by establishing culturally relevant poetry and living her life as an encouragement to all people.

Takarra’s poem for The Bigger Picture Campaign is below.

The Weight
I have one little sister.
We are the same person
split between two bodies.
The same spirit
shared in two temples
One masterpiece displayed on a double canvas
In my home missing meals is not a trend
Our mother is the best cook this side of Heaven
Eggs Bacon Pancakes and Toast for breakfast
We eat well , whether at home or away
Mom cooks more food than necessary, like her life depends on it
Because what is life when your child has the look of hunger on her face?
We lived to eat and ate to survive
Pride deep fried into every home cooked meal
If we weren’t full , we were hungry
Our eating habits rooted in fears of never having enough to eat
This weight that we carry was a prize possession
Weight was equated to wealth
Having food to eat meant providing for ourselves

You are witnessing the weight of ignorance
The weight of every snack break
Tropical Punch , red Brisk, Arizona only 99 cents
Hips thick attest to more than an extra pound
FDA’s lost food regulation found – in my succulence
On these thighs reside the truth mass media marketing cannot hide
“Live for NOW” is what they tell me
Neglecting the forever afters of death by diabetes
TV Screen Middlemen between lies and spokesperson celebrities
Pink wigs and PEPSI cans
This is the weight of McDeath doubles
Gatorade and Vitamin Water have more sugar than soda
But are marketed as healthy drinks.
Soda Machine place right at eye level low enough for Baby Girl to see
Silver fillings, Brown holes and cavities all in her teeth
This is not a mistake
Don’t get played
I’m no doctor , just a concerned citizen
A Poet on a platform ,
Who refuses to stand by and buy into companies
That aim to ruin OUR COMMUNITIES
There are entire marketing divisions
Devoted to getting Black youth to drink more soda and sweet tea
Making profits off the hood without a profit for you or me
I’m telling you, we are being played like lab rats
Put us in the maze and we’ll find cheese
6 Liquor stores to every hood & we’ll find diabetes
We crave junk food like they crave cheddar
Every time I cash out a corner store
I make their days go better
Pockets a little deeper
We snackin on death, while they profit off our people

The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture