Slingshot artist Jamila Woods developed a love for spoken word poetry while still in high school in Chicago. While she always sang in vocal groups and choirs, she didn't consider making music of her own until after she returned home from Brown University, where she majored in Africana Studies and Theatre and Performance Studies. Now with her debut album, HEAVN, it's easy to see how her music is a natural extension of that background. And while she has gained critical acclaim for her songs, her commitment to poetry continues, both as a writer and an educator.
Currently, Woods is the Associate Artistic Director of nonprofit youth organization Young Chicago Authors, where she helps organize Louder Than A Bomb (the largest poetry festival in the world), designs curriculum for Chicago Public Schools and teaches poetry to young people throughout the city. When Woods brought a couple of her thoughtful songs and her story to share with us on her first visit to WFUV's Studio A, she also treated us to her poem, "Blk Girl Art."