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Dr. King went to jail, but he never failed. 

He went to college all because of his knowledge.

Dr. King was a dreamer.


Yvonne Terry                                                                                                                                                     Martin Luther King



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Poetry Contest  

Waverly Elementary School


During the month of January students at Waverly Elementary School have been studying the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Waverly has writing as a major focus. Because of this emphasis. according to Yvonne M. Terry, assistant principal, the school's writing scores on standardized tests increased tremendously.

In early January the school partnered with ChickenBones: A Journal to sponsor a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Poetry Contest. Students in grades three through five were encouraged to write original poems and raps to convey their feelings about Dr. King. Students wrote poems on their own time at home. Although Waverly teachers encouraged participation, all work included was created  solely by students.

     ChickenBones : A Journal was very proud to co-sponsor this activity in support of our youngest writers. All participants were recognized and winning entries received special prizes. Can you identify the "winning" entries. We congratulate all participants. You are all winners!   


Dr. Martin Luther King's Words

By Dajanique Jackson

    Grade 3


"I have a dream," said Dr. Martin Luther King

To make peace and justice and equality ring,

For children everywhere, so they may dream.

Dream of freedom for the world.

Courage to live for every boy and girl.

For all colors of God's creation

To share and respect our nation



A Great Man

By Monique Norwood

Grade 3



I have a dream is what he wrote,

Who was this man that had millions of people 

hanging on everything he spoke?

He spoke of equality and freedom for all

This great man wanted everyone to stand tall

this wonderful man was

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



My Hero

   By Tina Ortiz

Grade 5


The man that fought for our people

                   My Hero

The man who said he had a dream

                   My Hero

The man who stood up for our rights

                   My Hero

The man who spoke everything he felt

                    My Hero

The man who made sure that people had a fair life

                    My Hero

The man who demanded freedom

                    My Hero

The man who led a bus boycott

                     My Hero

The man that we all believed in

                     My Hero

The man who lived in Memphis

                     My Hero

The man who had a terrible death

                     My Hero

Who is he?

                     My Hero

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Tina Ortiz is a 10-year-old 5th grade Waverly student whose work has been featured on ChickenBones : A Journal in the past. Tina who loves to read and write lives with her aunt and uncle and three sisters. She would like to be an author when she grows up.



Dr. King

By Aaron Brown

 Grade 5



Dr. King, Dr. King let us sing

while liberty bells ring

As we sing, we will bring joy to everyone  

Everyone will keep singing until the earth is done

All because of you, Dr. King  


Aaron is a friendly 10 year old Waverly Elementary School 5th grader. He has one sister and one brother. He lives with his mother, grandmother and sister and brother in Baltimore. Aaron loves to build things, swim, play soccer, and read. He would like to be an engineer when he reaches adulthood.




Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Alasia Lawson

Grade 5



Equality is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted to achieve.

Blacks and whites being equal is what he believed.

And for being so determined and peaceful,  

the Nobel Peace Prize is what he received.

Dr. Martin Luther king didn't like to fight.  

All he wanted was for whites to treat blacks equal and right.

Dr. Martin Luther King was a good man.  

He was against the Ku Klux Klan.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was very sedate,  

When he gave a speech, you would never hear him hesitate.

Mrs. Coretta Scott King was his wife.  

Together, they had a good life.

In 1968, Dr. Martin died.  

But his dream of blacks and whites being equal, stayed alive.


Alasia is a dramatic and creative young lady. Alasia will be eleven years old in a few weeks. She is a 5th grade student who has two brothers and one sister. Alasia lives in Baltimore with her father and grandmother. This Waverly student has many interest which include reading, writing, playing video games, and watching TV. Alasia says she wants to be an actress when she grows up. Alasia has been featured before  on ChickenBones: A Journal



He Had a Dream

By Nichelle Taylor

Grade 5


He had a dream that all blacks and whites would have peace with each other

His dream came true. We love him for fighting for all blacks' equal rights.  

We shall always remember him. Without his speech and faith that someday

blacks would have equal rights, we wouldn't be able to have them today.

I hope all Americans will remember him for all the things he did for blacks.

I know that if he were here today, he would be proud and happy that all blacks 

and  whites finally are friends.

This is why I love him for the things that he did.


Nichelle is a 10-year-old student at Waverly Elementary school. She is an energetic 5th grade student who has three brothers and sisters. She and her six siblings live with their mom in Baltimore. Nichelle likes to build things and read books. She wants to be a nurse or teacher when she reaches adulthood.



Dream King, A Civil Rights Leader

By Cordell Jones

Grade 5


Dr. King was the man he did everything that he can.

He had a dream that blacks and whites will get

Together at a time when they hated each other

Dr. King went to jail, but he never failed.

He went to college all because of his knowledge.

Dr. King was a dreamer.

Everybody knows he was a preacher who fought for freedom.

Back then there was segregation.

Dr. King fought for our nation.

Let Dr. King rest in peace.

High in the sky and everybody pray with me and say good-bye.


Cordell is an active and talkative 5th grade student attending Waverly Elementary School. This eleven-year-old student has two brothers and four sisters. He lives with his mother and father and siblings in Baltimore. Cordell loves gymnastics (flipping), football and basketball. He says reading and writing are okay too. He wants to be a professional football player when grows up



A Living Dream

By Tierra Weldon

Grade 5



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a Dream

That everyone should be treated the same

He spoke loud, to the crowd

He made everyone, Oh so proud

He went around not letting blacks down

He's the one who should wear the crown

When we hear his speech we stop in our tracks

We look at each other and give him respect  

We see him on TV standing tall

While he let us know how far he would go

He fought for our rights

He fought for us to be free  

He fought for all blacks, especially you and me

I read this today in honor of his name

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. you had a living dream.


Tierra is 10 years old and lives with her mother, father and two siblings. She has one brother and one sister. She is a 5th grade student attending Waverly elementary school. She likes basketball, reading, and writing. She wants to be either a teacher or a lawyer when she grows up.



Dr. King

By Rhonda Henderson

Grade 5


Martin Luther King was a benefactor of benevolence

He captivated people

He was complex

He debated about violence

Martin's defense was words rather than war

some would disgrace him, but some would praise him

But after all, he went down with his name in fame.



My Dr.. Martin Luther King, Jr. Poem

By Sydney Briggs

  Grade 5



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is freedom

Made of dreams

Hopeful dreams

He believed he could get us to be what he is

He achieved what he is made of

Martin wanted black people to have religious freedom

We all believed he could

He got us religious freedom

But his life was taken

His body may be gone

But his spirit of courage isn't

Dr. Martin Luther King is courage.



The Chosen One

By Ernest Cohen

Grade 5


They call him Martin Luther King

But was that his name ?

They added Reverend, Doctor, other titles of fame

He dedicated his life and time for us all

How sad that one man so great

Would eventually fall

But when he became great

They shall call him great.


Ernest Cohen is an active ten-year-old 5th grader. He is very active in his church and community groups. He has one brother who lives with him along with his mother and grandmother. He loves to sing, play football, read, write and play the drums. He wants to be a musician when he grows up.


We Love You Dr. King

 Jamal Coleman

Grade 5


Dr. King wore the civil rights ring                                    

He believed we all could change

With the benefit of his love

We all look above


We love you Dr. King

We love you for real

That's the whole deal

For you we will chill

We love you


Dr. King fought for freedom like a big man

that's why I am his biggest fan

Dr. King believed in our dreams

Think about what we've been through

It makes me feel so mad

And so, so sad

We love you Dr. King

We do. That's the whole truth.


Jamal is a very active and friendly 5th grader. He is ten years old and has three brothers. He lives with his mother and father and siblings in Baltimore. He enjoys gymnastics, football, basketball, reading and talking to girls. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up.




Dr. Martin Luther King Rap

By Brittany Pitts

Grade 5



Yo, yo, yo,

Everybody knew his dream,

His name was Dr. Martin Luther King!

He was the only leader in town,

But everybody knew he wouldn't let Blacks down!

He fought for freedom to get his way,

He dreamed every morning, even night and day!


He made everybody's dream come

As possible as can be


He had a wife named Corretta Scott King!

Now everybody knows and before I go,

We have to celebrate the birth of our sincere hero!

Now we all are happy and go our separate ways,


Let's celebrate our freedom,

King's Day !

Peace !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm out y'all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Brittany is a creative and talented fifth grade student attending Waverly Elementary School. She has two brothers and two sisters. She lives in Baltimore with her mother, father and siblings. She likes to draw, read, write, play basketball and listen to music. She has an ambitious goal. She wants to be the scientist or medical doctor who discovers a cure for all cancers. Brittany lost her grandfather to the disease.

Compiled January 23, 2003

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered.

Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. Jamie Byng, Guardian

Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest.

Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.

She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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