MLK Day Spoken Word Project

martin-luther-king-jr-quote

Last year, my roommate and I were part of a Spoken Word Project for MLK Day. It was organized mostly by Warner Pacific University, and was supposed to be people from a bunch of schools, but ended up being my roommate and I (from Concordia University-Portland) and a couple of Warner Pac students.

We each wrote a section of the poem, and then performed the entire piece at the MLK Day Service Rally, where a bunch (over 10, I know, not sure of the exact number though) of colleges got together and got pumped up before we went out and did a bunch of service projects. It was the second or third year of the project, and I’m pretty sure they’re doing it again this year. The poetry performance was new, something to add to the rally.

Here’s my section of the piece; I figured it’s appropriate because of the day. We wrote the poems in response to Dr King’s “The Purpose of Education” and the “I have a Dream” speech. Of course, it was written to be spoken, not read, but I think it translates decently to the screen. So enjoy; I hope it makes you think. Leave any reactions you have below!

Dr. King spoke of being written a bad check.

Apparently it’s an epidemic

Promises made are promises unkept

and sometimes, the system gets away with it.

Let not the promise of education be ignored

For all people have the right to learn.

But let’s not stop at the bare minimum

We have standards, so let’s illuminate them.

Because kids have the right to more than an education

They have the right to a good one.

Schools should have a flood of resources

Not suffer because of a “lack of funds.”

And when the students get to school,

What do they learn?

They should learn how to learn,

that they get        what they earn.

For as Dr. King said,

Education that stops at efficiency,

Is the greatest menace to society.

Knowledge is power,

Power can be abused

We must teach our children

How knowledge can be used

To make this world

A place we adore

Where none have to wonder

What all this is for

And fear there’s no reason

but instead be secure

In a society that promotes learning

Exploring, diving deep in life’s questions

And knowing that just because

The answer isn’t clear

Doesn’t mean that there isn’t one

Waiting to be revealed.

But there are those in this world

Who use knowledge to exploit.

To benefit only themselves,

Damn others to hell,

Nothing too good to sell

Morals are void.

This is not the type of education our schools need.

From kindergarten to grad school,

We need knowledge to feed

The fires of curiosity

Of wanting to make a difference

We want even “smart people”

To realize when to listen.

Yes, knowledge is power,

But education should promote

The type of knowledge and learning

That builds, not demotes.

Knowledge is a defense

against propaganda

Against prejudice and hate

For we should learn to think logically

And prejudice is based

On anything but logic

On something that’s dark

So let’s bring back the light

Because we know in our hearts

That all people deserve the opportunity to thrive

To do what they want with their time,

With their lives.

So let’s build a system that makes kids love to learn

Let’s set them on fire and make their hearts burn.

Today our battle is not one of race.

But it’s still one of inequality.

To live is to be a student of life

And all students need the same opportunities.

The hunger for knowledge deserves to be fed

And no student’s interests

Should ever be led in a direction

Converse to their own life desires

Education should fuel,

Not put out the fires

Of passion, desire, and longing to know

More about the world,

About nature,

Of God,

Of what makes things work,

Of how to create,

Education is not only power,

It’s fate.

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Posted on January 21, 2013, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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