Black Deaf/hard of Hearing Poet, Joy Elan, Shares What Writing, Music & Poetry Means To Her

Leroy - Posted on 27 April 2013

Joy Elan



I grew up loving to read and write. I have always loved to write stories growing up. Music was my other favorite thing. My mom bought me my first record player when I was four years old and I would play her records. Then she bought me my first Walkman when I was six. With the combination of reading, writing and music, I learned how to write poetry. As I took English classes in middle school and high school, I learned how to perfect my poetry. It was not until I was in college and I would write poems in a forum with other Teena Marie fans. I never saw myself as a Black hard of hearing woman. I saw myself as Joy Elan, a force that was unstoppable. Being Black, Deaf/hard of hearing and a woman were my blessings in disguise and my "triple tax." My "triple tax" or should I say "quadruple tax," if I include being educated, was my motivation to speak up and show the world who I am. My family taught me never to be afraid of whom I am and my teachers taught me that my pen and paper were my weapons. They gave me the tools to break any barriers that I encountered. I am a writer first and poet second. Poetry just happens to be a way for me to express who I am and share my stories. I have written about the struggle of being a Black woman in America, using what I learned in African American Studies. Also, I wrote about being a prisoner of having too much education and working at a job where they thought I was some dumb disabled employee and I fired back at them when they thought they could intimidate me. I am a single mother and it is important for me to bring my dreams to life so I can show my daughter that she can do anything she puts her mind to. If I am using the talent that God gave me to show the world that there can be an educated Black Deaf/hard of hearing woman who is willing to fight for what she believes in, then I know that I am fulfilling my purpose and what God has planned for me.


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