Though Dee was an amazing poet early on, she took her writing very seriously and kept it very close to her heart. She didn’t share it with many people. Even those close to her would have to wait to experience the fullness of her art, including Tim. It was a whole year before she ever shared it with him. There were certain personal things she wrote about that she wasn’t ready to disclose.
After Dee began sharing, he knew there was so much more poetry to disrobe. Tim was used to performing the works others, but he was great at free styling, Dee bragged. “He’s kind of intimidating when it comes down to the writing. Even right now with the way he puts his words together, I’ll read it, and I’ll just be like ‘wow,’” she said.They offset one another because Dee is the ultimate performer, Tim added.
When they saw what performing spoken word together could do, they made magic. Initially, they were still performing solo and being called to the open mic stages as individual poets, but with the chemistry they were brewing and the talent they were grooming, it was undeniable that they could conquer poetry together and time came to show it.
When they started doing plays, the family supported them even when they weren’t doing as much spoken word. From then on, they never looked back or allowed their vision to become blurred. It’s important to also note that it wasn’t always just Tim and Dee in their crew.
Inner City South began as a five-member group in 2002. The name was actually created by another member of the group. To be able to use spoken word for social, economic, and educational justice was their mission. “When you hear our name, it’s not going to be anything watered down. It’s going to be some real truth and honesty,” Dee said as she addressed their vision. All of their poems aim to hit something, which includes the fun poems, as well.
Even Dee’s play called Mind Games, which addressed bi-polar disorder was a part of a bigger story she needed to tell. Shunning family and not getting them help is a problem in the black community because some topics are taboo or become shoulder shrugs. Inner City South aims to highlight the problems so the issues don’t keep getting swept under rugs. The dynamic duo points out that even human trafficking hits closer to home than many would think. They said, “It’s because we’re right by everywhere…Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas.”
excerpt from forthcoming Anthology ‘Our Neighbors, Our Stories: Finding Common Ground…’
Interpretation by Carin ‘Wrighteous Soul’ Malone