PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — We often hear about rappers with controversial lyrics who exhibit self destructive behavior.
But on Wednesday, 8News anchor Ava-Joye Burnett introduced us to a local artist who is using her words to set a positive example for the next generation.
“I have been writing since I was eight.”
That means for two decades, ‘Ms. Proper’ has had a way with words.
“It’s poetry in motion,” she added. “It’s so much feeling behind it.”
The art was born out of a personal struggle.
“That definitely was like a therapy,” she said.
And if you listen, there’s a message that flows. Some of it as guidance for kids.
“Start with the kids. I know that sounds cliche, but they are going to grow up and be adults. If you nip it in the bud while they are children, you can fix these problems before they are an adult.”
Ms. Proper admits that back in the day, she too was a bully. Now as an adult, she’s trying to stop an epidemic by volunteering her time.
She told 8News she participated in a successful anti-bullying program in a Georgia school, where Microsoft was a sponsor.
“You talk to them not just about bullying, but also about self respect, self worth, respect the men, respect the women, and by the end of class, everyone is laughing, getting along and doing the nay nay.”
Ms. Proper says she’s working on logistics to bring a similar anti-bullying initiative to her alma mater, Matoaca High.
“And eventually throughout Chesterfield County,” she said. “I want to do it in Petersburg as well, because if I am going to do it in another state, I am going to feed the neighbor, and I am going to feed home too.”
At the root of it all are a few simple messages.
“So you have to be happy with yourself, because at the end of the day, if everyone in the room is happy with you and you are still not happy with yourself, it doesn’t matter anyway.”