Young Writers’ Archive – The Fifth Edition

The following poems were submitted by Joris Soeding, a fifth/sixth grade teacher in Chicago. The students are between the ages of ten and twelve. These are inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s notion of the “Beloved Community.”


Peace in the Streets

My beloved community is friendly

©Abigail Hope

©Abigail Hope

A place where someone can feel safe

A place where different languages are spoken

Different plates are served

Walking down Touhy Avenue seeing smiles as far as I can see.

There are some people that look bad on the outside

but I know everyone has at least one good part in them

Watching the buildings surrounding me knowing how much time it took to keep someone safe

Even if they wear hats with a feather

No matter what happens we will always stand together

When all of this segregation will cease

This city will have peace

Humans will improve when they work in unity

Once and for all, this is my beloved community

© Mark Sanchez, 6th Grade




Our heroes were great leaders

©Beril güvenç

©Beril güvenç

who helped us through dark times
they told us where the light was
our heroes told us it was inside.
That we had the right to do what we wanted
that we could make a change,
you don’t need a suit and powers to be a hero
all you need to do is make a change
stand up for what you want
just because one boy is white and one boy is black

it doesn’t mean they can’t be friends
be a leader, a hero, a friend
we all know who our leaders were
MLK, JFK, Abe Lincoln and they were all

© Jose Cruz, 6th Grade


We Are One

©Leticia Amor-Jurado B

©Leticia Amor-Jurado B

Separated we were

There was no reason

So you spoke

And you had a dream

And now we are together

Thank you

Martin Luther King, Junior

© Ben Eisenberg, 6th Grade


Girl Power

©Madelyn Olsen

©Madelyn Olsen

Male or female,

Girl or boy,

It does not matter what gender you are,

“You can’t do this. You can’t do that!”

I am a human being just like you,

I don’t care if you are strong,

I don’t care if you can lift a thousand pounds,

Helene Madison, Ida Wells, Fanny Brice, and Alice Paul,

They never gave up,

They are extraordinary women with extraordinary lives,

I am a girl and I can do it,

Can you?

© Elaine Tran, 6th Grade



Why do we fight

©Jonathan Holfelder

©Jonathan Holfelder

when we’re all gonna die?


We say hello,

yet we’ll have to say goodbye


Why do we stand tall

even though we may fall?




Because we know,

there is someone to catch us,

something to mend us,

to stand with us,

for what is right


Because saying hello,

can create something,

a feeling you can never let go


Because if you die,

you will be remembered by so many,

as something good,

helping the lives of plenty


Because after a gloomy day

and all the storms are done,

the dark clouds blow away,

and out comes the sun.

© Lucy Nguyen, 6th Grade


My Dream

©Grazia D'Amato

©Grazia D’Amato

my dream is that everyone can live in peace

no one is alone and everyone has a home

If people aren’t willing

there will be no shooting or killing

no house raiding or mean sayings

there will be block parties

everyone is nice and everyone has their own rights

people will be fair and care

I hope that my dream will be seen

© Hailey Velez, 6th Grade


Will Never Be Forgotten

Martin Luther King, Jr.

©Violet Hill

©Violet Hill

You tried to make everyone equal

Blacks and whites together forever

You tried to make that true

and you never gave up

You fought till you won

In your neighborhood all you could hear was guns

You gave a wonderful speech

that will never be forgotten

You fought until your death

You took one more breath

A gunshot we hear

through our ears

we will never forget you

Thank you for changing our world

© Brian Hua, 6th Grade



Some people have a perfect life, no harm,



as others get hit in the head and hear an alarm.

Life is not easy for everyone.

They get treated unfairly which isn’t fun.

Different nationalities get their feelings hurt,

kids shrivel up like dirt.

I am born with a gift,

I am lucky,

I help people become like an actual person,

a human.

My beloved community.

© Jasmine Luke, 6th Grade


The Swan and the Crow

©Myriam Tisbo

©Myriam Tisbo

The Swan flies by

The Crow flies by

They become friends

But not us humans

Separating people by their skin and color

Teaming up with the cruel and slather

Then it all stops with the voice of a man

A man with the shade of dark

He speaks with passion and truth

A voice he has that makes us look up

Think about what we had done

And start all fresh and new again

As he speaks the flocks of swans and crows

come together

and become one

one community

the beloved community.

© Annie Do, 6th Grade


No Inequality in What We Are

©Kie Siva

©Kie Siva

There is no difference in what we are

Racism everywhere has left a very deep scar

We’re actually very similar,

Our race barely even matters

Blacks, Whites, Mexicans and Asians,

There’s even thousands more,

All around the world

Our skin color is no big deal,

It’s what makes us all unique

We can all live peacefully together,

If we just try

You only live once,

So live how you want to live,

And keep peace with others,

So that others will keep peace with you.

© Rachael Nguyen, 6th Grade


The Bravest

Rosa Parks

©Siewying Shee

©Siewying Shee

You are the bravest woman I have ever known.

You didn’t impart because of a crazy law.

You fought for your rights.

Boycott the bus,

do whatever you can do.

Don’t Give Up!


© Shazeen Khan, 6th Grade


Martin Luther King, Jr.

©Carol Wasef

©Carol Wasef

We remember MLK

honored on the special day

he had a dream that we would stand

united together in this day

that we would strive to find a way

to live as friends and peaceful today.

He wanted each of us to see

the beauty of equality

he thought that right overcomes wrong

that hope can turn the weak or strong

and showing love instead of hate

would have made our country truly great

his message meant to set us free

was filled with hope, you and me

so on this day let freedom ring

as we remember Dr. King

© Maaz Muqsith, 6th Grade



©Leela Channer

©Leela Channer, age 16

We are all the same

Asians, Blacks, Whites, together equal my community

we’re not alone, stranded at sea

one person’s beliefs can unite a country

anothers can destroy love and peace

so let’s live in harmony

before we look back in self-pity

© Khuram Shahzad, 6th Grade


Emmett Till



14 misunderstood.

Coming from a united world.

Color isn’t an issue.

Is it so wrong to love?

Or is unity so bad?

Love should not be criticized.

© Anum Khan, 5th Grade


Who is Your Neighbor?



I see here, I see there

I see people everywhere

I see Africa, Asia, Mexico, too

I see China, Japan, Pakistan yahoo!!!

I see 13 stripes and 50 stars

We are together here we are

I don’t care from where you are

you are my neighbor.

© Huda Rashid, 5th Grade


Black or White

Black or white we’re not different.

©Pakash Pakhide

©Pakash Pakhide

It was ridiculous having blacks sit in the back of the bus.

Rosa Parks you are my idol.

You did something nobody had the guts to do.

You were brave like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Emmett Till

and that’s just 2 people!

You should always thank the people who fought for our freedom

and to love each other and never judge people by the color of their skin but how they act.

© Karen Herrera, 5th Grade


He Had a Dream

On January 15, 1929 a hero was born.

Seeing blacks with no rights made his heart torn.


©Alice Grishina, age 17


Martin Luther King, Jr. was not going to sit back.

He would not let his brothers face this violent attack.


He had a dream for equality.

He had a dream for unity.


He had a dream for justice.

He had a dream for peace.


He had a dream to let freedom ring.

It seems very simple, but it is an important thing.


Many years later we all share equal rights.

It’s all because of MLK’s equality fight.


So thank you MLK for having a dream.

Because of you we are all on the same team.

© Akber Khan, 5th Grade



Rules are rules


©Milena Pazos

©Milena Pazos

you are you


never follow what people do


what would you do?


because you aren’t wild you are free and freedom is peace and love


you are wise like a god


so believe in you


believe in your heart


and believe you can fly


like Martin Luther King, Jr.

© Angie Nguyen, 5th Grade


The River

Floating, drifting but how?

How did it start?

©Milena Pazos

©Milena Pazos

When did his last breath touch his lips?


He went to see his family

Then…he saw her

That’s when the agony started

Floating, drifting

The river

© Paige Meegan, 5th Grade


Almost Complete

Our Beloved Community

has everything we need

©Rhiannon May

©Rhiannon May, age 16

parks and a school

it’s like a fantasy

but something is missing

from our present

the people who stood with all of their pride

are not here with us

I wish they were here

to see our nation today

but I guess that’s just what has to be

Martin Luther King

had a big dream

Rosa Parks said no

that’s just two of them

there are many more

our loves, our hopes

are getting strong

hand in hand

we will stand




© Dulguun Damdinbayar, 5th Grade


Following Harriet

All aboard the train is here. Go tell your friends the time is near, all the slaves are gathering around.

©Guido Locatelli

©Guido Locatelli

Freedom is here and soon will be found. We’re heading north so we can be free. Just follow Harriet or follow me.

The path is long and will be hard. Be very careful and on your guard. They’ll try and stop us we must be strong,

it will be hard, it will be long, but at the end we will find peace, we will be free. Untie the leash.

We’re in the underground railroad now. We don’t know when we don’t know how,

but someday soon we will change society.


© Amanda Blakemore, 5th Grade


We Are United!

My community is peaceful and hardworking

My community fought for civil rights

©Tyrel Praymayer

©Tyrel Praymayer

My community suffered to be able to come to America

and have a better life

We celebrate the people who died for our rights

We are united people from all over the world.

Teamwork is an important thing in the world.

It took teamwork to build this community.

God bless America!

© Jimena Saenz, 5th Grade



Martin Luther King, Jr.

©Luciano Greco

©Luciano Greco

had a dream

about people of all colors being a team.

He marched and marched

and never stopped

until he got freedom for everyone.

Segregation ended,

but so did his life.

This brave soul

helped make a better world.

© Diego Ramirez, 5th Grade


Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is the meaning of peace.

©Clàudia Calduch

©Clàudia Calduch

She helped in African American release.

She stood in what she believe

she fought until the end

she stood strong

she never did wrong

and never gave up for her people

thank you Rosa Parks, thank you.

© Salwa Majeed, 5th Grade


My hot chocolate world

My hot chocolate has a world of its own

Let’s see what happens and discover the unknown

A white polar bear crouches on top of my cup

It sits with her baby as it curls up

A rollercoaster of caramel spreads across the snow

© Shaheryar A. Chishty, Age 10

©Shaheryar A. Chishty, Age 10

As you drink it, it over flows

My hot chocolate is always trying to escape

It trickles down the side as soon as I touch my cake

A Jacuzzi of cream melts in my cup

You cans see chocolate bubbles, its warming up

It slides down my oesophagus as I begin to swallow,

The slide looks so fun my cake wants to follow!

© Shaheryar A. Chishty, Age 10