by Christie Stelly
Kyla Lacey, a spoken word artist, performed at Central Connecticut State University Monday night, talking openly about her experiences with domestic violence and abuse.
Kyla writes poetry for a living, but does not use her education in the usual way. “I have a degree and I don’t really use it. I’ve never really been able to live a normal life,” she said. She has performed at over 100 colleges and universities in over 30 states.
“I think I just hope to inspire people to do something that makes them happy. Poetry makes me happy,” said Lacey. “It was something I was doing for free and now people pay me to do it.”
Students joined together to listen to Kyla perform about real life situations that she has found herself in.
“I’m part of a woman gender studies sexuality class and I’m also trying to become a victim advocate of some sort,” said CCSU student Olivia Doolan. “I’ve never heard of a spoken word artist, I just want to know more about it.”
Some of her favorite poems that she performed varied from talking about bad relationships to talking about her curly hair that she has learned to embrace.
She performed a poem about a conflict that she had been having with a friend. “Keep your friends close, but dispose of those that consult with your enemies. I loved real hard when I was hardly loved. It was my fault; I can’t blame anyone for my bad taste.”
A less serious poem about her hair still provided a message about learning to love yourself and embrace it. “My curls used to have to be shy and hide in middle school. Please know that my curls are unapologetically black. They’re not #teammixedchicks, they’re not racist.”
Being a survivor of domestic violence, she hopes that her story will help someone else. “It takes a woman seven times after coming back to a domestic violence relationship before she leaves,” Lacey said. She was in a relationship for four years, with violence beginning after the first year. “Nothing I did was ever good enough for him. You cannot love somebody into being a better person,” she said.
One out of four women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Opening up about her domestic violence issues made for an emotional room and allowed students to understand the importance of always loving and putting yourself first.
“I’ve been through a lot but I’ve learned to laugh and make money off of it. Turn my lemons into lemontini,” said Lacey.
Kyla has been nominated for numerous awards, including Campus Activities Magazine Best Female Artist. You can find her on Twitter @kyla_lacey or on Instagram @frequentfly_her.