Carrying themselves as confidently as they had almost a month earlier, Akilae Snorden and Dallas Otigba took the NBC studio stage Thursday morning.
After brief introductions, the DC SCORES poet-athletes looked directly at the camera and performed the same poems they had read in front of large audiences at the 13th Annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam!. It was another live performance — this time on TV — and, once again, they nailed it.
Snorden, 11, who attends Tubman Elementary School, and Otigba, 10, of Arts and Technology Academy joined DC SCORES Elementary School Program Director Cory Chimka on Barbara Harrison's NBC Midday show.
Snorden won the Shine Award for best individual performance on the Slam!'s first night, and Otigba's solo helped Arts and Technology win the Golden Mic Trophy the second night for the third consecutive year.
Check out the video above and read their poems below.
And if you haven’t already, please make a donation of any amount to DC SCORES before the end of the year to help us reach our annual giving goal. We're almost there. Thank you!
I'm the speech of human kind
But no one cares
I learned. I worked.
but not free
I have a lot of work
Till I'm free.
But no one I know has
Freedom cause their skin
Is the color of me.
Nat Turner fought for his freedom
All I see is freedom
Brave, big and bold
All I see is Harriet Tubman
Zoom, zoom she's gone
In a flash,
To the north
And I see other slaves
From the back.
No matter the pain
There's power in Black
My words in black
I'm proud of my freedom
And proud to be black.
-- By Akilae Snorden, age 11
Tubman Elementary School
I have the potential
I have the potential to be the BEST
But all you see are results on a test
The DC-CAS doesn't assess my true abilities
Provide me with a quality education and I'll achieve proficiency
I'm tired of teachers teaching to a test
Then we leave school and still don't measure up against the rest!
Let's buckle up and not settle for less
And work together to be the nation's best
In years to come you will hear and speak my name
In our nation's capital or on Hollywood's Walk of Fame
Remember.....I have the potential to be the BEST, but just know that my worth is more than just the results on some standardized test!
-- By Dallas Otigba, age 10
Arts and Technology Academy