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Mariama Savage is from Boston, Massachusetts, and is a fervent writer. She says that writing offers her something that other crafts do not measure up to. Narrative-driven poetry and in-depth analysis brings her to new perspectives and a better understanding of herself. In this way, writing offers catharsis and empowerment. Savage holds the title as the youth State Grand Slam Champion of Massachusetts, 2018, at the Louder Than A Bomb slam poetry festival/competition. She has worked towards fundraising for the Justice for Siham movement, has performed for the Northeasterners and will soon do the same for the NAACP in April 2019. Savage took third place in the National Book Festival slam poetry competition in 2018, and her team for Brave New Voices won the title as fourth in the world. Along with her team, Savage launched a venture on Mental Health Awareness in Boston Public Schools in 2018, which was granted full funding.

Savage is often saddened by the isms and phobias that she witnesses in her daily life. It is 2019, and there are still African Americans who are being lynched. Followers of Islam, a faith whose very name perpetuates peace, face the threat of attack and are targeted for their religious alignment. Trans/homosexual men and women and gender non-binary people still cannot express their true identities for fear of losing their lives. While discrimination is at the root of a lot of these problems, Savage believes the reason that xenophobia continues to thrive is because we as a community are not doing enough to dismantle and dispel the fear that comes with uncertainties about those who live lives different from our own. There must be education in order for people to find enlightenment.

Savage is currently a freshman at Bridgewater State University and plans to study public health with a minor in anthropology.


What’s in a Name

by Mariama Savage

What do you do when the last name

You’ve been burdened with

for the past 16 years of your life

Makes the painful transition between

Being derogatory and becoming a trap culture phenomenon


The stained glass shards of consonants

That outstretch into my last name

are so evident that it's as if

You were there when my people were forced to make

scriptures out of their screams

Crowbars of their knees and

And left with no other choices but to kneel down towards Mecca and pray for their lives

It’s my third trip to Freetown


My father tells me through gritted teeth of a family tree rooted in adversity and

Everyday my mother

Demonstrates to me her greatest downfall, in

Shackling her ring finger to a man that lives up to every

Polygamous expectation Islam says he can be

Yet, still

they both manage to instill in me the mantra

That  there

are mountains in my last name

Glory written in its snow capped peaks

And enough elevation to make Mount Kilimanjaro jealous

So Future Chief Keef and Young Pappy

While you may categorize


a Savage as someone whipping shits flipping bricks and making moves

And you urban dictionary

have the audacity to confuse me with

Some sort of made up beast

According to my upbringing

I'm not that but much more


My grandmother's namesake

Captivating and peculiar

a gift of Allah and the one who raises

Mariama Adisatu Savage

I mean I guess should be happy that

Now the world's first perception of me won’t be as lowly as it once was

And ignore the fact  that 9/10 times people still pronounce it wrong

Instead I ought to be grateful, and

admire the way the context of the the word nigga

went from slavery to slang

Be inspired by the way that we deem them

dreads instead of locks and

convince ourselves that

A name is just a name and nothing more


I can’t help but feel more culturally appropriated than anything

A rose by any other name is not as sweet

Yes I know that our accents were not Mothered from the same tongue

but stop treating my identity like its a title too cut throat to swallow  

Every time you attempt to bend twist and contort my SYMPHONY of syllables into a Miriam,Mary or Lil Mama

Its as if you are committing mass genocide against my ancestry all over again

And if I’m going to have to continue living in a world

where having a name like mine

or even worse a name as

ethnic and beautiful as my siblings Haja- Khadijia, Kepiatu Ngayala and Ahmed Tejan Babatunde

Can very well make the difference between us

living a life of rags or a life of lavish

Then I want to hear an honest effort burst from your lips,

Mariama Adisatu Savage

Respect me and at least try to say it right

or don’t say it at all