“The pain of the suffering, the forgotten and oppressed, is my pain. Their pain is now and forever, stamped on my heart. It is marked in stone, in my soul. Sealed in my brain. Sewn into my conscious. Engraved into my flesh. This pain is mine. For the eternity of time, until my people are redeemed. Until their suffering has ended, my suffering will never end. I will never be comfortable. I will never be rich or wealthy. I will never be secure or settled. I will never be anything more than a beggar, a thief, a liar, a hobo, an addict, a whore, a good for nothing, ain’t never done nothing/ ain’t never gonna do nothing, waste of a life and God’s good sense, wanna be, of a person. I will never be a whole human. Live a humanized existence. Worth love. Worth beauty. Worth greatness and glory. Never. Until… until, I save my people. As long as they live in the gutter, in my mind, heart and soul, I will forever and always live, breathe and grow from the gutter.”

– Shaquana Gardner