Toni Hickman’s “I Am Victorious” for Stroke Awareness Month

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May is Stroke Awareness Month, and I have some of my favorite kind of awareness-raising to share! It’s my favorite because it’s not an anatomy lesson, it’s not disconnected from society and stigma, and it’s not a doctor talking about their patients’ experiences.

What it is, is the very fine Krip-Hop Nation artist Toni Hickman‘s new song “I Am Victorious.” She wrote it for Stroke Awareness Month, and it’s part of her work as a speaker and presenter for YoungStroke. Toni’s two aneurysms and her stroke happened young, and she’s a fierce advocate for disability rights and getting people to question the way we look at disability community, at beauty, at ideas around who we say has worth and value in society. She does this work through presentations, public speaking, music, writing, and documentary film.

I love it so much because for everyone to become more educated about what a stroke is and what it can be like to live with a stroke, we simply have to hear from the survivors. It’s not enough to get a medical perspective or focus on brain cells, blood vessels, and muscles.

Please enjoy watching the new video for “I Am Victorious” a dozen times in one day like I did. The video is Closed Captioned for double enjoyment. The lyrics are typed out below so you can triple enjoy it. Please share the video and share Toni’s celebratory messages around gratitude, self-advocacy, and pride.

When the people seeing me the first thing they say you too young to have had one/ but I done had to brain aneurysms and a stroke because it doesn’t have an age hun/ death doesn’t have a time limit/ the Grim Reaper just submitted more time given/kind of forgetful the thoughts travel my mind different/ forever grateful I’m alive some people didn’t-make it./ See life for the taking/ had so many fears gotta face it/ as I walk through the valley unafraid of death/ Scars on my brain remind that it ain’t much time see/ we all fall through the black hole/ pain leads to the unknown/ sorrow gets in my soul/ but I gotta learn to let it go.

You can’t take my crown/ even if you tried to,  I’m a stand my ground I am/ You can’t hold me down, even if you try to I’m a stand my ground

I Am Victorious- Victorious – Victorious-Victorious

I am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I am/Am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I am that I.

You gotta go through a lot of things to be great/ a lot of fear to feel safe/ elevate your soul and know that you control and are the master of your fate/ Don’t/ tell me what I can’t do/ they said I probably never walk but I walk boo/ they said I probably never talk but I talk too/ wanna put me in a nursing home/ but I’ma nurse the throne see/disability don’t define/ like creativity don’t decline because of age/ I make my world with my own mind/ what you believe becomes a timeline/turn the page on ‘em/ cut paste center stage on ‘em/ the rat race music game got a plague on ‘em/ I’ma change rearrange do my thang on ‘em/ make ‘em wonder the world is this?/ Spirit/and all I got I’m gon give it/this aint no plot/ I live it/ It’s not about a race to fame/ but knowing who I am and replace the blame with/ I’m a winner/ no victim/ I’m a healer/ no sickness/ my limp is here for you to witness/ perfection beyond your perception

You can’t take my crown/ even if you tried to,  I’m a stand my ground I am/ You can’t hold me down, even if you try to I’m a stand my ground

I Am Victorious- Victorious – Victorious-Victorious

And all I ever wanna be is a winner winner winner  (yeah yeah)

All I ever wanna be is a winner winner winner winner

And all I am right now is a winner, winner, winner (yeah yeah)

All I ever wanna be is a winner winner winner

I AM THAT I AM