Alicea Davis’s words have inspired millions of people around the world. From her books to sermons to spoken word performances, Davis has touched the lives of others through poetry and prose. Listening to Davis’s words, you may not realize that she experienced physical and mental abuse as a child. Now, after overcoming the trauma through writing, therapy, and the strength of God, Davis is helping others.
Davis uses her unique talent to help people work through difficult emotions. Her power to help others is now being focused on racial unrest and the issues America faces with racial healing.
As a highly respected racial reconciliation executive speaker, Davis gives poetic keynotes to groups regularly. Her words are highly beneficial and have changed the lives of others. Along with being a sought-after speaker and poet, Davis is a published author and owns her own clothing company, which aims to strengthen the message of racial reconciliation.
Alicea, you are a Christian spoken word poet and independent artist. What led you into the world of poetry and how did you get your start?
I entered the world of poetry as a child who needed a creative outlet while suffering from the extreme trauma that I was blessed to overcome. My stepfather was our pastor at a certain point, who spiritually, physically and mentally abused my siblings and I. This caused me to become an atheist for a short season. I returned to the church over a decade ago. Poetry was my therapy for many years until I went to traditional therapy. That is how I got my start.
Along with being a spoken word poet and independent artist, you are also an author. Can you tell us about your book, The Sky Is Not The Limit: A Book of Empowering Poetry?
This book was written while I was processing deep trauma. I was blessed to write poetry that helped expand my thinking and reach beyond the stars in multiple areas of life. The wealthy appreciate going beyond limits in belief systems, character debilitating limitations can be removed no matter what stage of life you are in.
Your book is described as “for racial healing and soul wound encouragement”. Can you elaborate on this description? How does your poetry connect with others for racial healing?
Soul wound encouragement comes from the fact that every major offense or violation creates a wound on your soul, which is your will, emotion and intellect. Various abuses can hinder confidence that money can’t buy. Our psychological age can have arrested development depending on how old a person was when they experienced trauma. My poetry encourages these wounds to be strengthened. I have had testimonials even from those who suffered the tragedy of human trafficking, many have found relief and more peace of mind. I have a whole chapter dedicated in the book to racial healing.
Davis has used an entrepreneurial spirit to reach people and build a brand. Her company, Esteem Builders Productions, Inc. aims to significantly improve race relations in the United States. It is a big claim but one that Davis believes she can back up.
As an entrepreneur, you founded Esteem Builders Productions, Inc. How does your company help people heal from centuries of mistrust and oppression?
Esteem Builders Productions, Inc. houses the intellectual property that has been known to heal the soul wound of racism. We help people accept multiple offenses and not just racism. We focus on the whole person. This allows them to become stronger and more mature as we reach a deeper understanding as a nation. Given the right coverage, we can significantly improve race relations in America. We have a goal to use the surplus of our profits on psychotherapy appointment vouchers across the country for citizens who need help processing the trauma of racism and even family and/or church offenses.
You were previously named as one of nine women “making black history”. How does it feel to be labeled as a woman making black history in a time that more strong black women figures are rising to the forefront?
It feels surreal to be named one of nine women “making black history”.
America has seen a lot of racial issues over the last few years that have boiled over. Of course, those come from long rooted problems. You have stated that you believe America will reach racial reconciliation in your lifetime. How do you believe this will occur and what steps should be taken or will be taken to achieve it?
I believe it will take three years when done right. The first thing we need to do is gain social skills tools. It is unrealistic to expect a stranger or someone who barely knows you to see past all of the emotions involved in lamenting racial oppression. We need to come to the dining table before we come to the boardroom. We cannot approach it like a hostile enemy and expect partnerships. Our company can help America change its approach to conversing racial matters.
Listening to Davis’s spoken word performances, it is easy to see where she gets her inspiration from. Her religious beliefs and devotion to God inspire the healing words Davis uses in her engagements.
Alicea, you are also a speaker and preacher that delivers short sermons. Along with your poetry, what inspires your words when speaking to others or performing?
My words are inspired by the Lord. I have a gift of healing that comes from my spiritual beliefs. I cannot take the credit. God had been good to me.
As a black American spoken word artist, it is easy to believe that you have been influenced by the great Dr. Martin Luther King. Is Dr. King one of your inspirations and who else do you draw influence from when composing your work?
Surely, Dr. Martin Luther King is one of my inspirations. As well as Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes.
Can you tell us about your racial healing clothing line?
My racial healing clothing line started when my readers requested that images from my poetry book be placed on clothing. We have expanded the designs to unifying and peacemaking images. I love the clothing line. I am still amazed by it!
Davis is the founder of the March Forth racial reconciliation movement. It was created as a new Christian holiday focused on national racial healing and reconciliation. March Forth is celebrated every March 4th in an effort for individuals to unite throughout the year.
Alicea, in your expert opinion, will the racial divide in the United States get worse before it gets better or has America seen the worst of it?
I believe that the worst is behind us. There will be a learning curve that has to get smoothed out in the near future as we celebrate the March Forth Racial Healing and Reconciliation holiday. Which promotes having a diverse meal with your diverse group of friends, featuring a diverse array of food. It is a new Christian holiday that also promotes listening to a diverse list of Christian music but all are invited to celebrate.
What is a day in your life like?
A day in my life is pretty exciting. To be able to change the world through creativity is an amazing thing. I go from clerical work as a CEO, to rehearsing poetry for my keynotes. No two days are the same.
Davis’s clothing company, Alicea Davis, is doing great things and supplementing the work she has done in other areas. As an entrepreneur, Davis has achieved success in multiple facets. She is an individual that has overcome the trauma of her childhood to excel as an adult. Her faith in God has led to an incredible journey to the forefront of America’s racial reconciliation.
For more information on Alicea Davis please visit https://www.aliceadavis.com
Journalist and author. Contributor