BOOKS by T.J. Speaks

JUBA - Poems That Dance



Even as a young dancer, I refused to question WHY

Mama strummed a mother's pain against a father's PRIDE

Seeing mister press hands toward a blood-filled SKY

Folklore bemoaning riverbeds stained with slave CRIES

Tears O'generations amid segregation to plodder LIFE

Blind debts foretelling hatred,  spewing black STRIFE

Bawling truths the middle passage ventured to HIDE

Erecting slave ships, with clandestine tales buried INSIDE

Songs from voices graved atop respect and humanity DENIED


Gonna swing ... prance, and do my pretty free black DANCE

Gonna keep my soul from standing bold in a plantation STANCE

Gonna plant trees by the bank along Thousand Mile RIVER

Gonna cast roots far and wide, like magnolias that TIMBRE

Gonna taste salts collected coast-side beneath metrical FEET 

Gonna make fertile hearts burlapped by benevolent SPEECH

Gonna sow seeds for harvest wit'soul-procity' UNDENIED

Gonna keep new roots soaked true, never questioning WHY

Gonna Lamba and Mora these black legs of mine ... and JUBA till I DIE 


This heartfelt comedic drama finds Bailey Hannigan stepping away from the limelight to help her grandfather save the family business. The day before Bailey is set to return to Hollywood, Grandpa Hannigan receives an eviction notice - giving him 3 months to pay back taxes on the Hannigan School for The Blind or close its doors for good. With a little help from an old friend, Bailey hatches a wacky plan to save her grandfather's 30-year old legacy. Through a series of trysts to raise money, she begins to care less about keeping up appearances - and starts seeing herself for the first time through the heart of a child. Unlike the DIVA she portrays for ratings, Bailey steps into the role of a lifetime, and redefines the old adage... 'LOVE IS BLIND'
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