Unsung Hero of 2016: The Girl Who Made Slam Poetry Cool

Thank God for Missy Elliott. Because of her, we have the gift of Ashlee Haze.

Ashlee Haze's performance of her poem, "For Colored People (The Missy Elliott Poem)" went viral nearly two years ago, but this year the poet's lyrical masterpiece found its way onto "By Ourselves," the opening track off Blood Orange's latest album, Freetown Sound. Haze's words remain as relevant as ever in today's sociopolitical climate.

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Watch Haze's full, powerful performance.

Haze speaks to the importance of representation for women and girls who look like her, and for them to know that they matter when a future administration and an ignorant subset of the population is trying to tell them otherwise. It's easy to fire off Tweets and write lengthy Facebook posts about being depressed, angry, or placing blame on others, but Haze takes her stance against the enemies of feminists, people of color, and other minorities in a way that is stunningly beautiful.

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