MLK Day Spoken Word Project
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 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,
Of what makes things work,
Of how to create,
Education is not only power,
Posted on January 21, 2013, in Poetry, Writing and tagged college, community, education, fate, life, Martin Luther King Jr, MLK Day, Poetry, rally, school, service, spoken word. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.