HOUSTON – The Netflix documentary, “Rising Phoenix,” tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games, and a local hip-hop artist has put music and lyrics to one of the songs in the soundtrack.
Her name is Toni Hickman and she explained the personal reason why she is using her voice to inspire others.
This multitalented singer/songwriter mixes singing, poetry, and rap in the song “Rising Phoenix,” written and performed by herself and fellow disabled artists GeorgeTragic and Keith Jones.
Hickman started performing professionally when she was 16 years old, but her life changed after she suffered two aneurysms and a stroke in 2007.
“The doctors told my mom that I would never speak or walk again and that she should look into putting me in a nursing home,” said Hickman, who beat the odds after extensive therapy.
“I still walk with a limp because I have partial paralysis on my right side, but I started everything and now I do things with a purpose. I am grateful to be here. Literally,” said Hickman, who also struggled with depression.
“When a part of my body was altered and I couldn’t do what I used to do, yeah, that was depressing. And then, just wanting to be accepted and embraced as I used to be, I had to leave that alone and learn to love myself internally,” said Hickman, who revealed what kept her going through it all.
“I’ve always had this attitude of being stubborn. It’s worked for me in positive and negative ways. But we have a choice to either be great or just be as is. And I believe it is important as long as we have breath in our body to work on being our best version of ourselves,” said Hickman, who is also a public speaker.
Hickman feels proud to be part of a song like “Rising Phoenix.”
The track is available on all music platforms, and you can listen to it on the link below.
“Rising Phoenix” is ReelAbilities 2021 Opening Night Film on Feb.16 and Toni Hickman will be performing at ReelMusic, their music event happening on Feb. 24th at 7 PM.
ReelAbilities aims to utilize the arts as a vehicle to both educate and change perceptions about individuals living with disabilities.
All ReelAbilities music, art, and film events are completely free and open to the public, you just have to sign up at ReelAbilitiesHouston.org.
To connect with Hickman, click here.