Nine Twelve: A Poetic Call to Unity

Artist J.ournal commemorates the aftermath of 9/11 through spoken word.

By Nancy Flory Published on September 11, 2017

Spoken word artist J.ournal, along with pianist/composer Jennifer Thomas, created a video commemoration of the aftermath of 9/11.

J.ournal’s Nine Twelve poem, about the day after September 11, 2001, reminds viewers of Americans coming together to comfort and help one another after the tragedy. J.ournal believes we need each other now more than ever and calls us to come together with love, compassion and unity as members of the human family — not just in the aftermath of today’s tragedies — but every day.

J.ournal writes poetry and creates what he calls “video poems” — videos set to music while he speaks. In an interview with The Stream, J.ournal said that lately he has been feeling a heaviness about the division and contention in our country.

“Jennifer and I wanted to do something with a positive social impact,” he said. “We have differences but we need to remember what we have in common too. We all hurt. We all struggle. The hate isn’t helping anyone. I know we’re capable of more kindness and compassion because I saw it after 9/11. This is what we tried to capture in the video. We don’t have to be the same to be one.”

He said his faith drives what he does. “I try to offer an eternal perspective,” said J.ournal. Knowing that we are eternal beings having a human experience can help us get through hard times, he added. “So I try to view everyday life through a lens of eternal truth.” It’s also about getting us to think about how we may help others. Because, “ultimately, that’s what gives us peace and joy.”

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