Meet Jonathan Walton — New York City Urban Project Director and young poet extraordinaire. I met him during our Abolitionist Academy in San Francisco last year in May/June 2009. Aside from his creamy good looks (sorry, Jon, had to put that in there somewhere!), I felt like I was meeting a country gentleman. In a group that was predominately female, Jonathan humbly treated each and every one us with respect, dignity and grace. Immediately we all knew that this was not a put-on. This was a man of integrity, walking the footsteps of Christ and loving his neighbor as himself. That above all radiated from his person and I count myself blessed to have met such a lover after God's own heart.
In helping the fight against modern day slavery, one or two of us introduced Jonathan to the terms "Fair Trade"… and a rather long list of goods made using slave labour. I will never forget how big his eyes got when we talked about Hershey's chocolate! I smile even now. But I will also never forget how he shared his style of mentoring young people to come and take up the call. To say it was inspiring would be an understatement. To say that we all learned from each other during our two weeks together, though, would be a true-ism.
Jonathan, barely in his twenties, has already published four books of poetry and uses his talents not only as NYCU's director but as a motivational speaker as well. His presentation of his poetic style draws you, the listener, in like a chief bard would his tribe. Not only are your ears ringing with his words, but you find yourself swaying to his rhythm and meter. The heart begins to pound, the images in your head pound your temples with resounding clarity, and your arm muscles begin to twitch at the sudden need to keep in step with Jonathan on a djimbe. Perfectly punctuated, his punches jab deep into the gut as they do the mind.
Check out Jonathan at the New York City Urban Project: http://www.nycurbanproject.com/about
And here's a favourite passage of mine…