Intimidation Conquered Phenomenally

Inspired by Maya Angelou's "Phenomenal Woman"


She was once called a phenomenal woman

But it seems that

the reach of her arms

the span of her hips

the stride in her step

and the curl of her lips

made some feel intimidated


When she walked into the room

 with her head held high

shoulders back

and a smirk as cool as you please

They no longer swarmed in public

but hid behind their masks

attempting to slide into her happiness

like a hive of honeybees


It was the fire in her eyes

the determination of her thoughts

the flash of her teeth

the regality in her walk

the swing and curve of her waist

the precision of her poise

the joy in her feet

and the power of her voice

that caused her to be esteemed phenomenally

Models- Antonio Dilworth, Zuri Johnson  Stylist- All Is Fair In Love & Fashion, RaeShanda Johnson  Photographer- Joe Goodwin

Models- Antonio Dilworth, Zuri Johnson

Stylist- All Is Fair In Love & Fashion, RaeShanda Johnson

Photographer- Joe Goodwin


But men themselves have wondered

how she stands so tall

They've cut her down

and buried her worth

and blamed her for it all

But from the seeds they've planted

the pressures that she's bore

It's the arch of her back

the perspiration of her brow

the medals of honor pinned to her chest

the grace of her style

she stands not intimidating but phenomenally


Now understand this

just why her head's not bowed

Nor does she whine or beg

or hide amongst the crowd.

When you see her passing

it ought to make you proud.

It's in the click of her heels

the coil of her curls

the clenching of her fist

the protection of her pearls

She stands as a woman

Not intimidating but phenomenally

Phenomenal woman

That is she.

~Zuri Ashanti' Johnson ©

Encourage Yourself

There's a song my choir sang in college called "Encourage Yourself" by Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers. My favorite lines are where the soloist adlibs saying "Sometimes you've gotta look in the mirror and tell yourself 'I can make it'. You've gotta remember life and death lies in the power of your own tongue. Even if nobody tells you you can run on, you tell yourself. You've gotta remember 'I'm more than a conqueror' ". 

As I near my last year of my 20s, I'm so grateful I was introduced to that song at the beginning of my 20s. We get so excited to enter what we think is "adulthood" when we turn 20, that we put on our rose-colored glasses and think we're going to conquer the world. And for some of us, that is exactly what we set out to do. But conquering the world doesn't come without it's hurdles, pitfalls, and letdowns. 

There have been naysayers. There have been those that don't understand what or why you've set out on this journey. And there are those who have tossed their rose-colored glasses aside and turned to the bottom of whatever liquid, drug or addiction that will settle their mind and dull their senses. Then they want you to join them in their pit of despair. 

But... in spite of all of those who may or may not make it on your journey; remember it is your journey to take. If your heart is in conquering the issues of the world, then go after it, one step at a time. If your heart is in changing the lives of the youth, then impact change, one youth at a time. If your heart is for improving the lives of the elderly,  then share your heart, one day at a time. Remember,  your life is not only a gift but it's one with purpose. And as you go after your purpose, don't just rely on the cheers of others. Encourage yourself.

I hope this site/blog and my journey will be an encouragement to anyone that stops by! Through Faith, Fitness, and Fierceness, I hope you see a life lived abundantly!