Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2023 Winner

The Ways In Which We Resist

When I think of my people

I think of Resistance

Resistance is when Claudette Colvin didn’t give up her seat,

9 months before Rosa Parks got arrested for doing the same thing

It didn’t seem to be planned

She says, “Whenever people ask me why didn’t you give up

when the bus driver asked you? I say it felt as though

Harriet Tubman’s hands were pushing me down on one shoulder

and Sojourner Truth’s hands were pushing me down on the other shoulder”

Resistance is when the Black Panther Party

inspired by the need for self-defense refused to lay down their arms

Resistance is when from plantation to plantation

enslaved men, women, and children could use spirituals to communicate

Resistance is when my grandmother decided that wearing her hair

In a slick straight bun the military enforced was white-washing

Her and her culture so she left and she made her afro big and loud

And that made her feel as if she made her ancestors proud

When I think of my people

I think of Resistance

And I think of all the people who have had to resist

I think of the Polish freedom fighter

Stanislawa who smuggled weapons against the Nazis at 23 years old

I think of the pitifully armed Jewish men and women

who were able to hold off German attacks for nearly a month in Warsaw

I think of Malala who continued to try to get an education

Even after her diary was published and the Taliban

Set a bounty on her.


Sometimes Resistance is loud and deafening

Sometimes Resistance is still and quiet

Sometimes Resistance leaves you blinded by smoke and tears —

But where would we be if we didn’t resist for a better world?


Amina Bradford

Sheridan School

Grade: 8


Washington, DC


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns both written by Khaled Hosseini

Dream for the Future:

I would really like to become a doctor, specifically a neurologist!

Inspirational Figure:

I would say my mother.