About Aja LaStarr

Aja La’Starr is a hip hop/spoken artist and educator who began rapping and reciting her poetry during the early 90’s. Aja received her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and MBA from the University of Phoenix. She has dedicated her life to serving underprivileged youth and minorities by implementing empowering programs and events throughout the community. Through her spoken word/hip hop career, she has performed all over the country, made several appearances on BET, as well as opened up for Jill Scott, Mary Blige and rap mogul 50 Cent. She is also the founder of IAMHIPHOPSTL, an event that highlights the positive contributions of women in hip hop. Aja La’Starr has published two books, Refuge: A Poetic Sanctuary which is a collection of poetry and prose about love, spirituality and revolutionary thoughts; and Venus Loves Music which is a poetic novelette about love. She currently serves as a Social Media Coordinator for Poetry for Personal Power.

Black Women Saluting Black Men

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Aja La’Starr (314) 281-3968 or Nikia Gist (314) (314) 412-1027

AJA LA’STARR in conjunction with L.A.C.E. (Ladies After Community Enrichment) presents

WHAT ABOUT US: A Celebration of Black Manhood

ST.LOUIS (August 23, 2013). Aja La’Starr in conjunction with L.A.C.E (Ladies After Community Enrichment) is pleased to present, WHAT ABOUT US: A Celebration of Black Manhood at The Regional Arts Commission located at 6138 Delmar Blvd (across the street from the Pageant in the Delmar Loop) from 1pm-5pm on August 31, 2013.  This interactive event is free and open to the public.  The event will bring together a plethora of black men that are artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, educators, and community advocates in an effort to expose their artistry, and dispel the myths that have plagued them within society.

Throughout history, African-American men have been profiled, brutalized, incarcerated and murdered. In many cases, it was simply because of the color of their skin. The significance of black men have been ignored for way too long; so as a community, it is up to us to change the way that we perceive our black men.  Therefore, “What About Us,” is an event intentionally designed to salute positive black fathers, professionals, entrepreneurs, etc. who serve as role models and stand up guys in the community.  While this event is for everyone; we strongly encourage the presence of young black men. 

Aja La’Starr and L.A.C.E., the organizers of, “WHAT ABOUT US,” are dedicated to exposing the positive contributions of black men in the community.  They are also committed to creating platforms to discuss redefining the image of black men contemporary society.  Aja La’Starr is a nationally recognized poet, author and hip hop artist from St. Louis, Missouri.  She has travelled the country as a performing artist and has facilitated and organized a plethora of events and fundraisers throughout St. Louis as well as other major cities.  L.A.C.E. is an organization comprised of dynamic ladies moving forward to improve their lives as well as the lives of others through community service. 

If you would like more information about this event, please call Aja La’Starr at (314) 314-281-3968 or Nikia Gist (314) (314) 412-1027 or email whataboutusstl@gmail.com  Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.  Interviews available upon request.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
~Margaret Mead~

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Making Time for the Ones We Love

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A few days ago, I enjoyed a wonderful evening with a group of good friends. We played games, had a few drinks and engaged in great conversations. On yesterday, I wrote personal letters to ten family members and took it to each of their homes.  Every so often, I call my friends and family to touch base with them and stay informed about their lives.  

I believe that we as people need to set aside specific time to bond with the ones we love. With the everyday struggles of life (i.e, bills, work, children, co-workers), it is so easy to miss out on precious moments…moments we can never ever get back (I suppose that’s why I take so many pictures…I truly enjoy capturing unforgetable moments).

But nowadays, people are so caught up in social media, (texting and tweeting) that they neglect to call and check up on their loved ones. We post everything on Facebook and Twitter; but we fail to realize that everyone is not apart of that technological world.  Gone are the days where we communicate in person. 

However, I encourage everyone to take out time to write letters, make phone calls and physically visit with your loved ones; because I guarantee you, those smiles and those tears, will certainly be worth the effort.

Let Go, and Let God

Lately, everyone around me has been struggling financially (including myself); and despite our efforts to increase our revenue, we cannot get our dollars to stretch far enough. For some of us, we feel as though we have truly hit rock bottom.

But growing up in a religious family has taught me to always have faith in God. I was taught that God will always provide your needs, if you would simply trust and believe in him. However, I am guilty of constantly stressing and obsessing with trying to figure everything out myself. I have to always remind myself that God will never give me a load I cannot carry; nor will he give me a purpose I cannot fulfill.

I know that, when we begin to surround ourselves with the love of God, we cannot help but be elevated. I have learned that I make my circumstances more complicated than they are supposed to be. I spend more time trying to assist God in doing his job, when I should be aligning myself with my true purpose in life. I encourage everyone to try God. I mean, really try God. It would be mean humbling yourself and surrendering to his holy will. Giving yourself over to God may not be easy; but it could be the difference of life or death.

Life or Death

Jodi

For the past four months, I have been following the trial of Jodi Ann Arias; a woman that has formally been charged with the brutal murder of her then ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Arias stabbed him 27 times, slashed his throat from ear to ear and shot him in the head. She gave three vastly different statements regarding his murder. First, she said she was no where near his home in Arizona. However, after being interrogated by investigators that placed her at the crime scene, she admitted that she was there, but that two Ninjas had killed Travis and mysteriously let her go.  A few years before she would stand trial, Arias admitted that she did in fact kill Travis, but that she did so in self-defense.

Watching Arias on trial was very disturbing. She spent 18 days on the stand, testalying about Travis. She said he was abusive, hypocritical and a pedafile. None of those accusations were ever proven. But that did not stop Arias from attempting to assasinate his character even more; all in the name of sparing her life.

But what is life? Life is a precious gift that God gives us to live; something that should be valued and respected. In my opinion, Arias does not value life at all. She does not value her life, nor the lives of others. Even though she spent a lot of time taking pictures that highlighted the beauty in life; she made a horrible decision to take Travis’ life senselessly.

At this phase of the trial, the jury has the responsibility of determining if she lives or dies. Now, I have always been opposed to the death penalty because I feel like whomever takes someone’s life through lethal injection, electric chair, etc. is no different that the murderer being killed. But honestly, Jodi needs some type of justifiable consequence to her horrific actions; and perhaps, death is the way. I still feel uneasy about her life being taken…even though she told a reporter that she prefers death because it is, “the ultimate freedom.”

All in all, I feel that God is the only one who should be responsible for choosing if someone lives or dies; he gave us life, so he should be the only one eligible to take it away.

NO VACANCY BOOK RELEASE @ THE RAC

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (314) 281-3968

POETRY FOR PERSONAL POWER RAISES MONEY FOR A LOCAL WOMEN’S SHELTER
Proceeds from a homelessness anthology to be donated to The Shalom House
ST.LOUIS (April 3, 2013). POETRY FOR PERSONAL POWER, a presidentially recognized program, is pleased to present the “No Vacancy” Book Release at The Regional Arts Commission, located at 6138 Delmar Blvd on April 13th at 3pm. This event is free and open to the general public.
The anthology features poetry and prose from writers throughout the world; and there are nearly twenty contributors from St. Louis represented, including: Deborah Mashibini, Tracie Berry-McGhee, Adrienne Draper, Kristin Sharp, Susan Lively, Aja La’Starr and many more. Proceeds from the book will be donated to, The Shalom House, a local women’s shelter in the Metropolitan area.
The contributing writers in this anthology range from Africans who endure poverty on a daily basis to U.S. veterans who became homeless when they returned home from fighting wars. Additionally, many of the contributing writers have either been homeless or have worked closely with the homeless population in their respective communities.
POETRY FOR PERSONAL POWER is comprised of diverse individuals who are dedicated to utilizing creative/performance art to transform lives. The program is comprised of three key concepts: we believe that everyone goes through adversity, one of the best ways to overcome adversity is talking to someone who has been there before and another great way of overcoming adversity is to find your personal power or what makes you feel strong.
If you would like more information about this event, please call Aja La’ Starr at (314) 281-3968 or email Aja at thenovacancyproject@gmail.com. You can also follow us @POETRYPOWER.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Interviews are available upon request.

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www.poetryforpersonalpower.com

Living My Life in the Margins

“You laugh because I’m different; I laugh because you are the same.”

~Jonathan Davis~

For as long as I can remember, I have always been different.  Being different for some people have proved to be challenging and burdensome; but for me, it has opened many doors of opportunity.