J. Ivy "Dream BIG" from the book "DEAR FATHER: Breaking the Cycle of Pain" / by J. Ivy

Walking out of the movie “Selma” on the anniversary of Dr.Martin Luther King’s birth, my mind was taken to a place of calm, a place of peace, a place of remembrance of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Immediately my mind drifted to the current climate of our nation. I thought about Ferguson. I thought about Eric Garner. I thought about the young black man who was gunned down in Ohio. I thought about the police brutality, the false charges, the harassment that I, and others, have gone thru as people of color. I thought about the promise of justice our country has failed to fully deliver on.

The fight continues, but as surely as the hand of hate that has repeatedly swung down on the poor, the disheartened, the educational system, judicial system, and political system, I believe in the hope that Dr. King fought for. I believe that love will ultimately prevail. I believe that we will overcome if we don’t lose focus in the confusion that has been set at ourtables. I believe the holes that have been driven in our hope will be refilled with our mastery that can’t be taken away by no living being.

Yes, the story “Selma” depicted inspired me deeply. Dr. King has always been one of my greatest inspirations. When I took to the stage, I wanted to speak with the same prestige he spoke. I wanted to spark people’s spirits the way he did. I wanted to remind us of the peace we can all attain. I wanted to keep his dream of hope alive.

It was that hope for peace that drove me to write the poem “Dear Father.” I hoped that GOD would grant me the strength to push past thepain and to forgive myself for the wrongs I had done and spoken.  I hoped that my father, who had passed, knew that I forgave him. I hoped that I would be able to reconnect with my father thru my words. I hoped that he would remain close to my heart, guiding me with his spirit. I hoped that I could make him proud. I hoped that I made him happy.I hoped that after a life long fight he was able to find his peace.

After writing that poem, in the depth of my gut I knew he had. I knew that I did. I knew that with a shield of clarity guarding my mind and a light heart paving the way, I could continue fighting to better myself, so I could better those around me. I’m not perfect. Who is? But after the words of that poem left my spirit and used the page as a landing strip, I knew, with an esteem sense of confidence that I could take off. Like Dr. King, I knew thatI could “Dream BIG.” It is that idea that I exercise daily. It is that idea that I desperately hold on to. It is that idea that pushes me to do like my grandfather often said, which is “keep on keepin on…take it one day at a time.”

One day I will share with you the amazing, amazing story of how the “Dream BIG” video (the first video installment for my new book “Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain) came to be, but for now I have to send a very special thanks to my brother, Chris Velona, for directing and shooting this beautiful piece of art. CV, thank you for bringing everyone together to produce this vision. Thanks Rich Sancho for producing this perfect music. Josh Senior, the edit is masterful. Thanks to you and Senior Post for amazing work. Hector Delgado, thank you for letting us record the verse at your studio. Yasmine Richard aka Cuzin Yazz, you’re the best. The locations were perfect. Mike Marasco and Darren Miller, the cinematography is crazy. You, along with CV's eye is amazing. Darren and Eddie Rozay, thanks for bringing out the copters. Greg Magers and Collin Jordan as always, the sound is perfect. Thank you all for “Dreaming BIG” with me on this project. My wish is that it inspires many and lifts our spirits as a whole. Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for your light and your legacy. We will continue to strive to make your dream, our dream, a reality... GOD Bless You!!


J. Ivy

"One Million Letters Written, One Million Hearts Healed."

Watch J. Ivy's "Dream BIG" video below. Single available on iTunes. Link is in the store.