Roselyn Berry aka Lady Rose
Born in Panama City, Panama; raised in Boston, MA; and now residing in Oakland, CA; Roselyn Berry is a lifelong social justice activist, writer, spoken word artist, model, dancer, actress, lover, fighter, and a passionate, lively, loud, burst of life! She is inspired by LOVE: for God, for her community, and for her family.
Roselyn received her first journal as a birthday gift from her older sister when she was 9 years old and she’s been a poet ever since. She’s been performing her work as a Spoken Word Artist since the age of 16, in hopes of one day sharing her words with the world.
Roselyn has been published in various writer’s anthologies and newspapers, including Survival News in Boston, MA. Roselyn is currently in the process of publishing her first book: Revolutionary Words.
At the age of 17, Roselyn co-wrote, produced, directed and acted in her first full-length theater production: ‘Tabula Rasa and All that Yin Yang’. The play did a week long run at The Boston Center for the Arts and sold out every night. Four years later, at the age of 21, Roselyn co-wrote, produced, directed and acted in her second full-length theater production: ‘Spill Life: Confessions of a Butterfly’. This play did two nights at The Boston Center for the Arts and is currently being sold nationally on DVD.
Roselyn has performed her writing as a spoken word artist at various events throughout the country, including The USSF in ATL and Detroit, CJNY National Gathering in ATL, and Beats for Peace w/ Mos Def. She has been featured as a spoken word artist at various events throughout Boston, including Boston Renaissance, Crital Breakdown, Our Bodies, Ourselves 40th Anniversary Celebration, Quality and Soul, and Lifted. She co-coordinated a Street Theater troupe for 11 years as part of a young women’s collective that she co-founded in 2001. Street Theater has also traveled internationally with their performance art to places like Cuba, The Netherlands and Venezuela. She is also one of the featured artists for Hot Boxx Studio in Boston, MA.
Roselyn is in a lifelong fight for justice and liberation for Black, Brown and poor people. She believes in the right for all people to live and love and to be the healthy and vibrant people that God created us to be. Roselyn works toward social justice not only through performance art; but also through her daily work.
Roselyn spent 11 years as a proud co-founding member of Reflect and Strengthen, a grassroots collective of young, working class women from the urban neighborhoods of Boston who take a holistic approach to organizing and creating personal and social transformation. Reflect and Strengthens’ programming focuses were political education, healing from trauma, creative expression, community building and campaign work to end racial disparities in the juvenile justice system.
Roselyn now spends her professional time working nationally to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and her personal time with loved ones, writing and performing.
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Revolutionary Words is the debut poetry book, written by Roselyn Berry aka Lady Rose. It is a perspective of both the resilience and oppression of marginalized communities in the United States, as well as the fight for liberation of all Black, Brown, and poor people internationally, adapted into spoken word poetry.
Apology to Writing
(Dedicated to the late and great Dr. Maya Angelou)
I’ve forgotten how you feel
The way it envelopes me when no one else has the strength
Or the courage to hold me
Long enough to let the tears soak into your clothing
Holding me even through the anger
The unwillingness to believe that this right here
Might be all that life has to offer
And why bother faking it or wasting it on paper
I could just scream the words out
Loud enough for only you to hear and you would listen Attentively
Every word holding meaning
Never belittling even the most minor thought
Because you know more than anyone how much I meant it
Never too dramatic
Merely an exaggeration to say the least
And while others label me a fanatic
You allowed me to hold onto you so tight
That when I let go
My hands would be the color of your skin
Set deep within my pores
You became a part of me
Never telling me not to over think things
Or over analyze situations
You allowed me to process with patience
You taught me to pull apart every layer of meaning
And allowed me to be myself
In every emotion I was feeling
At whatever cost you came
I didn’t have to say your name for you to notice me
Didn’t have to beg you for affirmation
I knew that we shared the same thoughts
Ideas and feelings
And if at any time I questioned it,
I could peel back your cover
And rediscover that your insides were my insides
Running deep and spilling over
Shared secrets like a lover
You found the depths of me
The absolute darkest places that I tried hard to erase
But only managed to push deeper into my being
If we don’t set them free,
We become our secrets
We become those parts of ourselves
That we’re afraid for the world to know
When we push them down into fertile soil, they grow
Begin to show above the surface
Forgetting our purpose
We become those sad places
Those hurt places
Those silent places that long to be acknowledged
Just like all the other parts of us
Instead of keeping me stuck in those places
You gave me a space to share my story
My yearning to be understood got transferred through lines And rhymes
Into the right to be heard
I could never have found myself without finding you
Reminding me that feeling can feel good
Thank you for how you deliver me
And make me feel better about feeling
Forgetting you has been like treason
No more writers block
No more wasted ticks on tock
No more hiding
No more fighting
Is my apology to writing
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