Author Najah-Amatullah Hylton’s “day job” is teaching English in Oklahoma City Public Schools. Her goal is to encourage kids to let their creativity work for them instead of get them in trouble. She has written for several news and magazine publications– The Loop Magazine, OKC.net, and VANE Magazine among them. She wrote creative reviews for a restaurant and entertainment venue, Urban Roots, that seemed like a second home while it was open. She blogged for Soul Medicine, a collective of friends, and for a website, KAE, most recently. She has maintained her own blog at various Internet addresses since junior high school.
Hylton performed in poetry slams for many years, and in 2012 she renewed her adventures on stage, performing at Oklahoma City’s Natural Hair Meetup Day; opened for rapper Jabee at the Norman Music Festival; and in her first solo show that summer at Urban Roots in a performance called “The Risk to Bloom.” Her first poetry book went on sale in March 2014, carrying the same title.
In 2015, Najah wrote the poem “Black Future” for her friend, hip hop artist Jabee, who turned the poem into an album: “In the Black Future There’s a Place So Dangerously Absurd.” The outtakes, or B sides, of that album were titled “Juneteenth” and released on that day in 2016. The official album released in August of the same year.
Currently, Najah is working on a second book of poems, some social media- and poetry-enhanced secondary curriculum, and her video podcast “The Truly Beautiful and Inspired Teacher.” She is attempting to find and maintain the wonder and the transcendence of the language arts in a changing America that doesn’t seem to value its teachers. She is also seeking to bridge the gap between teachers and students and the community. She believes education efforts should be collaborative to attain the most lasting achievements.