A.J. McQueen is not your average, run-of-the-mill individual. He is an author, rapper, poet, philanthropist and community activist who is using his voice to make a real difference.
From living a life of gang-banging to becoming a world-renowned spoken word artist, McQueen’s work in the community has caught the attention of major media outlets such as B.E.T. and powerful national political figures like President Barack Obama.
His life experiences have truly taught him a lesson that he continues to share with others.
“My life flashed before my eyes,” says McQueen, who turned a teenage near-death experience, along with other life-threatening choices, into a promising career of activism. For McQueen, it was his experiences and the love for his city of St. Louis that led to his passion for activism.
“In my city, it’s not fair; it’s corrupt and I have a passion for speaking up for the people who can’t speak up for themselves to make a change,” said McQueen. “Everything I speak on, I’ve felt this way before it became popular, and now God has shown me that I can express my feelings and speak on things in many different ways.”
In trying to spread God’s word and portray positive images to the youth, while speaking on social issues within the Black community, McQueen says there will always be someone who will try to stop what he’s doing, but he is confident that no one can stop him or take away the things that God has inspired him to do.
“The Black Lives Matter movement was started by the youth and young adults, but the narrative of the entire movement is constantly formed by the media, and by an older generation who are oftentimes disconnected,” said McQueen. “It will continue to happen like this until this younger generation is given the opportunity to speak for themselves.”
McQueen says that all gifts came from God, therefore through expression; he speaks truth, inspires, and wants to push the Black culture forward, especially the youth. He started a movement called the Writers Block, as a means to allow millennials to have their voices heard.
“When I started the Writer’s Block back in 2012, my mission was solely to inspire and engage youth of this generation through the spoken word,” said McQueen. “Since then, it has grown into a powerful millennial movement, offering a platform and outlet for artists to express and allow their voices to be heard.”
McQueen believes that millennials are the curators of change. He believes that the new generation needs to tap into their potential, and that we need more leaders at the forefront, so that through their voices being heard, new ideas and solutions to the problems of today can bring about much needed change.
McQueen will be hosting his next “Writer’s Block Live” event on Friday, June 24th at the Social Junkie Sports Bar and Grill, 2412 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007. The event will feature spoken word artist, Preston Perry, along with performances by Choice The Poet; FBC KLIK; Jabari Johnson; Jaylon Ashaun; Mandela Dunamis; Mic Tunez; Roland Champaine; Trevor Lee; The Story; and Self The Poet. The event will be hosted by the amazing Shawn Flowers, with DJ Live in the Mix. For tickets and more information, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-writers-block-live-social-junkie-tickets-25559605468.