Each of the speeches we have selected for inclusion in the oratorical contest is educational with messages about potentially unlimited topics. Therefore, as a prerequisite to your child’s participation in this contest,  parents, guardians and/or teachers are mandated to review and check out the speeches and provide appropriate guidance and counseling with the child before allowing the child to see or recite the speech. Certain speeches, in the opinion of some, may not be suitable for particular children, depending upon their age and maturity. With that cautionary note, we have racked up the following inspirational speeches on our list of speeches approved for the Oratory presentation on April 27, 2019.  All of these speeches are available for your review.

  • "Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions" by Abraham Lincoln
    http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/discoveries.htm

  • "The Parable of the Talents" from Matthew 25
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=ESV

  • “Do It Anyway” adapted by Mother Theresa
    http://www.dbooth.org/guat2000/small/teresa.htm

  • “The Creation” by James Weldon Johnson
    http://www.bartleby.com/269/41.html

  • “The Creed” by Marva Collins
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yURBWtnzqhGkj7cpmubGsG5Ogj4HW1c0Xc2cyvSOwIU/edit

  • 2008 World Economic Forum -" Creative Capitalism" by Bill Gates
    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Speeches/2008/01/Bill-Gates-2008-World-Economic-Forum

  • "2007 Howard University Commencement Speech" by Oprah Winfrey
    http://www.graduationwisdom.com/speeches/0024-winfrey.htm

  • "Freedoms Plow" by Langston Hughes
    http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/langston_hughes/poems/16959

  • Let America Be America Again (1935) by Langston Hughes
    www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-america-be-america-again

  • Democracy (1949) - Langston Hughes
    www.poemhunter.com/poem/democracy

  • Mother to Son - Langston Hughes
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mother+to+son+langston+hughes

  • As I Grow Older - Langston Hughes
    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/as-i-grew-older/

  • Bound No’th Blues - Langston Hughes
    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/bound-no-th-blues/

  • "Just Add Bravery" by Melody Hobson
    https://commencement.usc.edu/files/2012/12/Mellody_Hobson_Speech2015.pdf

  • "A Plan of Conduct" by Benjamin Franklin
    http://www.historycarper.com/1726/01/01/a-plan-of-conduct/

  • "Persistence" by Les Brown
    http://www.getmotivation.com/goals/goals-persistence-lbrown.html

  • Malcolm X on the Keys to Economic Empowerment in Our Communities and What Traps to Avoid
    http://www.facebook.com/notes/afrikan-centered-education/malcolm-x-on-the-keys-to-ec...

  • Dr. Dwayne I. Buckingham - Black Economic Empowerment: "I Can" Speech
    http://www.realhorizonsdlb.com/blog/black-economic-empowerment-i-can

  • Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Why We Can't Wait
    http://thekinglegacy.org/books/why-we-cant-wait

  • President Barack Obama Remarks by the President on Economic Mobility
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/12/04/remarks-president-economic-mo...

  • Michelle Obama, Democratic National Convention Speech July 25, 2016, Affirms Her Family First
    https://www.romper.com/p/transcript-of-michelle-obamas-dnc-speech-affirms-her-family-first-ethic-15022

  • Sojourner Truth's 1851 speech "Ain't I a Woman?"
    http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/sojtruth-woman.asp

  • Josephine Baker at the March on Washington
    http://www.blackpast.org/1963-josphine-baker-speech-march-washington

  • Shirley Chisholm introduces the Equal Rights Amendment
    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/content/chisholm-era-speech-html

  • Shirley Chisholm Brooklyn Announcement Speech
    http://www.4president.org/speeches/shirleychisholm1972announcement.htm

  • Myrlie Evers-Williams’ invocation at President Obama's second inaugural
    http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2013/01/21/myrlie-evers-williams-gives-invocation-at-president-obama

  • The Rose That Grew In Concrete, Tupac Shakur
    http://allpoetry.com/The-Rose-That-Grew-From-Concrete

  • Glory, Common
    time.com/3717222/oscars-2015-common-john-legend-glory-selma/

  • Takes A Whole Lot of Human Feelings Carmen McRae
    www.allmusic.com/.../it-takes-a-whole-lot-of-human-feelings-m...

  • The Gun Lobby Can Be Defeated, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Chicago Sun Times
    http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/7/71/1022359/jesse-jackson-gun-lobby-can-defeated

  • Pope Francis’ Speech To Congress
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/transcript-pope-franciss-speech-to-congress/2015/09/24/

  • Hey Black Child, Countee Cullen
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=hey+black+child+poem+countee+cullen

  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=stopping+by+woods+on+a+snowy+evening

  • The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=road+less+traveled+poem

  • The Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1863 A Transcription By the President of the United States of America: A Proclamation.
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html

  • "Give Us the Ballot, We Will Transform the South" by Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech given before the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington, May 17, 1957
    http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/election/wvote/king.html

  • Always There Are The Children - Poem by Nikki Giovanni
    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/always-there-are-the-children/

  • Choices (1982) – Nikki Giovanni.
    www.poemhunter.com/poem/cipoces-144/

  • "ON THE PULSE OF MORNING" by Maya Angelou written: Spoken at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, January 20, 1993.
    http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver/soc220/Lectures220/angelou.pdf

  • Maya Angelou
  • Touched by an Angel
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/maya_angelou/poems/496

  • Million Man March
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/maya_angelou/poems/505

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/maya_angelou/poems/494

  • Alone
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/maya_angelou/poems/500

  • "EQUIPMENT" by Edgar Guest
    http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/legacy_of_fame/george_w_carver/carvers_favorite_poem.aspx

  • Imagine Peace, Yoko Ono

    http://imaginepeace.com/archives/2616

  • Chief Seattle's Letter to the President of the United States, 1852
    http://www.ascensionnow.co.uk/chief-seattles-letter-to-the-american-president-1852.html

  • Network by Paddy Chayefsky
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Network_(film)

  • If—BY RUDYARD KIPLING
    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

  • Do It Anyway, Mother Theresa
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=do+it+anyway+mother+teresa

  • "Letter from a Birmingham Jail [Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.]"16 April 1963
    https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

  • A More Perfect Union (speech) 2008 speech by Barack Obama
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_More_Perfect_Union_(speech)

  • Jesse Jackson 1984 Democratic National Convention Address
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jessejackson1984dnc.htm

  • Jesse Jackson 1988 Democratic National Convention Address
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jessejackson1988dnc.htm

  • Marcus Garvey
  • Dissertation On Man
    http://nyahbinghi.ca/garvey-speeches/view-garvey.asp?word_title=Dissertation%20on%20Man

  • Maria Stewart
  • Why Sit Ye Here and Die?
    http://www.blackpast.org/?q+1832-maria-w-stewart-why-sit-ye-here-and-die

  • Mary Church Terrell “What It Means To Be Colored in the Capital of the U.S.”
    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=1906-mary-church-terrell-what-it-means-be-colored-capital-u-s

  • Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • We Wear the Mask
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/paul_laurence_dunbar/poems/14864

  • Sympathy
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/paul_laurence_dunbar/poems/14865

  • Life’s Tragedy
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/paul_laurence_dunbar/poems/14866

  • Encouragement
    http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/paul_laurence_dunbar/poems/14867

  • A Choice
    http://famouspeotsandpoems.com/poets/paul_laurence_dunbar/poems/14868

  • Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Letter from a Birmingham Jail
    http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/doucments/letter_birmingham_jail.pdf

  • Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-acceptance.html

  • Speech at Oberlin College/Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution
    http://www.oberlin.edu/external/EOG/BlackHistoryMonth/MLK/CommAddress.html

  • Keep Moving From This Mountain
    http://wikilivres.info/wiki/Keep_Moving_From_This_Mountain

  • Beyond Vietnam
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

  • Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam
    http://husseini.org/2007/01/martin-luther-king-jr-why-i-am.html

  • Where Do We Go From Here
    http://famous-speeches-and-speech-topics.info/martin-luther-king-speeches/martin-luther-king-speech-where-do-we-go-from-here.htm

  • I’ve Been to the Mountaintop
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm

  • The Casualties of the War in Vietnam
    http://www.aavw.org/special_features/speeches_speech_king02.html

  • Final Words of Advice
    http://www.progress.org.dividend/cdking.html

  • On Poverty
    http://homelessalliance.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-on-poverty/

  • The Other America
    http://www.gphistorical.org/mlk/mlkspeech/index.htm

  • Nobel Lecture: The Quest for Peace and Justice
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-lecture.html

  • Paul’s Letter to American Christians
    http://current.com/community/88889534_dr-martin-luther-king-jr-speech-pauls-letter-to-american-christians.htm

  • A Proper Sense of Priorities
    http://www.aavw.org/special_features/speeches_speech_king04.html

  • The American Dream
    http://depts.drew.edu/lib/archives/online_exhibits/King/speech?TheAmercianDream.pdf

  • Domestic Impact of the War
    http://www.aavw.org/special_features/speeches_speech_king03.html

  • A Journey of Conscience
    http://www.wmich.edu/library/archives/mlk/transcription.html

  • The Drum Major Instinct
    http://mlk-kpp01.standord.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_the_drum_major_instinct

  • Booker T. Washington
  • Democracy and Education
    http://www.blacpast.org/?q=1896-booker-t-washington-democracy-and-education

  • The Atlanta Compromise Speech
    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=1895-booker-t-washington-atlanta-compromise-speech

  • Frederick Douglass
  • If There is no Struggle, There is no Progress
    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

  • What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?
    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=1852-frederick-douglass-what-slave-fourth-july

  • President Barack Obama Speech A More Perfect Union (2008)
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0308/9100/html

  • Independence Day (1996) - President Whitmore Speech.
    www.imdb.com/title/tt0116629/quotes.

  • Network (1976) – Mad as Hell.
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechnetwork2.html

  • Rocky (1976) – It Ain’t How Hard You Hit.
    http://samplage.com/movie-quotes/it-aint-about-how-hard-you-hit

  • Hoosiers (1986) – I Don’t Care What the Scoreboard Says.
    www.filmsite.org/bestspeeches38.html

  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) – Closing Statement Before Death. A closing court message in defense of colleagues after the speaker has been sentenced to death.
    http://www.filmsite.org/bestspeeches2.html

  • The Giving Tree (1964) – Sheldon Allan Silverstein.
    www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-giving-tree

  • The Great Dictator’s Speech (1940)
    http://0www.charliechaplin.com/en/synopsis/articles/29-The-Great-Dictators-Speech.

  • Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing (1899) James Weldon Johnson.
    www.metrolyrics.com/the-black-national-anthem-lyrics-james-weldon-johnson.html

  • The Girl Who Silenced the United Nations for 5 Minutes (1992)
    http://100777.com/node/1827 Message that only we can protect the health of our environment and our very existence.

  • Armageddon – (1998) President’s Speech.
    http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2012/01/armageddon-presidents-speech.html

  • Friday Night Lights Speech – Perfection Defined (2004)
    http://nottalotta.com/friday-night-lights-speech-perfection-defined/

  • Cicely Tyson Monologue from Medea’s Family Reunion (2006)
    www.imdb.com/title/tt0455612/quotes Message about bringing the family together.

  • Samantha Booke’s Two Speeches in The Great Debaters (2007)
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechesthegreatdebaterswileyvsok

  • Thing of Beauty (Endymion) John Keats (1818)
    www.peomhunter.com/poem/john-keats/

  • All The World’s A Stage (@ 1600) William Shakespeare.
    www.poemhunter.com/poem/all-the-world-a-stage/

  • The Way of Love 1 Corinthians 13 (@57AD) Apostle Paul
    www.esvbible.org/1+Corinthians+13

  • Mahatma Gandhi: “Speech Before Inter-Asian Relations Conference”
    http://mkgandhi.org/speeches/interasian.html

  • Barbara Charline Jordan: “1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address”
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barbarajordan1976dnc.html

  • The Dalai Lama: “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech”
    http://www.dalailama.com/messages/acceptance-speeches/nobel-peace-prize

  • President Abraham Lincoln: “Cooper Union Address”
    http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/cooper.html

  • President Nelson Mandela: “Speech Accepting the Congressional Gold Medal”
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/nelsonmandalacongressionalgoldmedalspeech.html

  • Rigoberta Menchu: “Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech”
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1992/tum-lecture.html

  • Malala Yousafzais, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 2014
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2014yousafzai-lecture_en.htmlA

  • WEB DuBois, Address to the Nation, Niagara Movement Speech, 1900
    http://users.wfu.edu/zulick/341/niagara.html

  • Khizr Khan’s Speech to the 2016 Democratic National Convention
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/full-text-khizr-khans-speech-2016-democratic-national/story?id=41043609

  • President Abraham Lincoln, House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858
    https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/housedivided.htm

  • Marcus Garvey, Educate Yourself
    http://www.nyahbinghi.ca/Garvey-speeches/view-garvey.asp?word_title=Educate%20Yourself

  • The Greatest Salesman in the World Og Madino The Scrolls –
    All contestant Levels one, two, three, and four are free to select any of the following Scrolls to memorize and recite.

    The Scroll Marked I - Today I begin a New Life
    The Scroll Marked II - I Will Greet This Day With Love in My Heart
    The Scroll Marked III - I Will Persist Until I Succeed
    The Scroll Marked IV - I Am Natures' Greatest Miracle
    The Scroll Marked V - I Will Live This Day As If It Is My Last
    The Scroll Marked VI - Today I Will Be Master of My Emotions
    The Scroll Marked VII - I Will Laugh at the World
    The Scroll Marked VIII - Today I Will Multiply My Value a Hundredfold
    The Scroll Marked IX - I Will Act Now
    The Scroll Marked X – I Will Pray for Guidance

    ALL PARTICIPANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO VIEW AND MEMORIZE ANY OF THE ABOVE SPEECHES BUT THE FOLLOWING SPEECHES HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR YOUNGSTERS IN LEVEL ONE ONLY. OF COURSE STUDENTS IN LEVEL ONE ARE ENCOURAGED, IF THEY CAN, TO MEMORIZE AND RECITE ANY OF THE ABOVE SELECTED SPEECHES, IF THEY WISH.

    Langston Hughes – “Grandma’s Stories”

    Grandma has a head full of stories

    She has a whole heart full of stories

     

    All day long when Mama’s away

    Grandma wraps me in her special shawl

    and tells me her stories

     

    Black people stolen from Africa into slavery

    Black people with no rights working for free

     

    Black slaves who escaped on the Underground Railroad

    not a choo-choo train with a running engine

    but black folks and white folks working together

    to bring slaves from the South up North to freedom

     

    Of how she is African, French and Cherokee

    and how they tried to kidnap her into slavery

     

    Grandma tells me her stories wrapped in her shawl

    That has its own story with its bloodstains and

    bullet holes and all from her husband who was

    killed with John Brown at Harpers Ferry

     

    Oh, I know Grandma’s stories are true

    they didn’t come from school or any book

    Grandma was there fighting for freedom too!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Langston Hughes – “Libraries”

    Libraries

    are a special place

    for me

     

    with their long tables

    all smooth and shiny

    and bookcases spilling

    over

    with books filled with

    wonderful worlds

     

    Libraries

    are a special place

    for me

    to sit and to stay

    with books and books

    and books of endless

    beautiful words

    keeping me company

    taking my loneliness

    and blues

    away.

     

     

    Langston Hughes – “All My Life”

    I travel the big seas

    working on ships to pay my fee

    countries and continents welcome me

     

    In Paris, in Africa, Russia and China

    I go around the world like a miner

    not the kind my father wants me to be

    in Mexico with an engineering degree

    But a miner searching for riches

    from people of all races

    discovering other voices and places

     

    Going around the world claiming poets

    from other nations, translating their sonnets

    and stories into something I can dig –

    yeah, going around the world digging life is my gig!

     

    When I’m not overseas I’m in Harlem

    with writers, artists and musicians

    mapping out a world of laughter and strife

    celebrating the beauty of black life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Langston Hughes – “Poetry Means the World to ME”

    Poetry means the world to me

    it’s how I laugh and sing

    how I cry and ask why

     

    Poetry comforts me

    when I use jazz or

    the blues or the way

    regular folk talk –

    the language

    they use

     

    Words don’t always

    have to be neat

    and polished

    like a statue

     

    They should be

    used used used

    to say what you like

    or don’t like

    what you see think

    or feel –

    Words to fight against

    Hate and unnecessary

    Suffering

     

    Poetry is what I use

    to say

    I love you.

     

     

    Langston Hughes – “Sometimes Life Ain’t Always a Hoot”

     

    Sometimes life ain’t

    Always a hoot

    or a holler

     

    But if you manage

    to give it

    a bother

     

    Even if you miss

    your mother

    or don’t like

    your father

     

    There’ll be better days

    up ahead

     

    A whole mess of

    happenin’ days

    up ahead

     

    You can sit and sulk

    suck your teeth

    and sigh

     

    Or love and laugh

    and live life

    by and by.

     

     

    Over My Head  – Spiritual

    Over my head, I hear music in air.

    Over my head, I hear music in air.

    Over my head, I hear music in air.

    There must be a God somewhere.

     

    Over my head, I hear singing in the air.

    Over my head, I hear singing in the air.

    Over my head, I hear singing in the air.

    There must be a God somewhere.

     

    Over my head, I see trouble in the air.

    Over my head, I see trouble in the air.

    Over my head, I see trouble in the air.

    There must be a God somewhere.

     

    Over my head, I see glory in the air.

    Over my head, I see glory in the air.

    Over my head, I see glory in the air.

    There must be a God somewhere.

     

     

    Go Down, Moses – Spiritual

    When Israel was in Egypt’s land,

    Let my people go.

    Oppressed so hard they could not stand,

    Let my people go.

     

    Go down, Moses.

    Way down in Egypt’s land.

    Tell old Pharaoh

    Let my people go.

     

    “Thus spoke the Lord,” bod Moses said,

    “Let my people go!

    If not, I’ll smite your firstborn dead.

    Let my people go!”

     

    “No more shall they in bondage toil,

    Let my people go!

    Let them come out with Egypt’s spoil.

    Let my people go!”

     

     

    This Little Light of Mine – Traditional

     

    This little light of mine,

    I’m gonna let it shine.

    Oh, this little light of mine,

    I’m gonna let it shine.

    This little light of mine,

    I’m gonna let it shine.

    Let it shine.

    Let it shine.

    Let it shine.

    Take My Hand, Precious Lord – Thomas A. Dorsey

     

    Precious Lord, take my hand.

    Lead me on, let me stand.

    I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.

    Thru the storm, thru the night,

    Lead me on to the light.

    Take my hand, precious Lord,

    Lead me on.

     

    When my way grows drear,

    Precious Lord linger near.

    When life is almost gone,

    Hear my cry, hear my call,

    Hold my hand lest I fall,

    Take my hand, precious Lord,

    Lead me on.

     

    We Shall Not Be Moved – Traditional/Freedom Song

    We shall not, we shall not be moved.

    We shall not, we shall not be moved.

    Just like a tree, planted by the water,

    We shall not be moved.

     

    We are fighting for our freedom.

    We shall not be moved.

    We are fighting for our freedom.

    We shall not be moved.

    Just like a tree, planted by the water,

    We shall not be moved.

    We are black and white together.

    We shall not be moved.

    We are black and white together.

    We shall not be moved.

    Just like a tree, planted by the water,

    We shall not be moved.

     

    We will stand and fight together.

    We shall not be move.

    We will stand and fight together.

    We shall not be moved.

    Just like a tree, planted by the water,

    We shall not be moved.

     

     

    Get on Board, Little Children – Spiritual

    The Gospel train’s a-comin’,

    I hear it just at hand,

    I hear the car wheels moving,

    And rumbling thro’ the land.

     

    Get on board, little children,

    Get on board, little children,

    Get on board, little children,

    For there’s room for many more.

     

    I hear the bell and whistle,

    A-coming ‘round the curve;

    She’s playing all her steam and pow’r

    And straining every nerve.

     

    No signal for another train

    To follow on the line;

    O sinner, you’re forever lost,

    If once you’re left behind.

     

    The fare is cheap and all can go,

    The rich and poor are there;

    No second-class on board the train

    No difference in the fare.

     

     

    Shelvin Silverstein – “The Acrobats”

    I’ll swing

    By  my ankles,

    She’ll cling

    To our knees

    As you hang

    By your nose

    From a high-up

    Trapeze,

    But just one thing, please,

    As we float through the breeze –

    Don’t sneeze.

     

    Shelvin Silverstein – “Magic”

    Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,

    Eddie touched a troll,

    Laurie danced with witches once,

    Charlie found some goblin’s gold.

    Donald heard a mermaid sing,

    Susy spied an elf,

    But all the magic I have known

    I’ve had to make myself.

     

    Shelvin Silverstein – “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too”

    Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too

    Went for a ride in a flying shoe.

    “Hooray!”

    “What fun!”

    “It’s time we flew!”

    Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

     

    Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew

    And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew

    As higher

    And higher

    And higher they flew,

    Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

     

    Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,

    Over the sun and beyond the blue.

    “Hold on!”

    “Stay in!”

    “I hope we do!”

    Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

     

    Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too

    Never returned to the world they knew,

    And nobody

    Know what’s

    Happened to

    Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

     

     

    Shelvin Silverstein – “Captain Hook”

    Captain Hook must remember

    Not to scratch his toes.

    Captain Hook must watch out

    And never pick his nose.

    Captain Hook must be gentle

    When he shakes your hand.

    Captain Hook must be careful

    Openin’ sardine cans

    And playing tag and poring tea

    And turnin’ pages of his book.

    Lots of folks I’m glad I ain’t

    But mostly Captain Hook!

     

    Shelvin Silverstein – “Ourchestra”

    So you haven’t got a drum, just beat your belly.

    So I haven’t got a horn — I’ll play my nose.

    So we haven’t any cymbals —

    We’ll just slap our hands together,

    And though there may be orchestras

    That sound a little better

    With their fancy shiny instruments

    That cost an awful lot –

    Hey, we’re making music twice as good

    By playing what we’ve got!

    Shelvin Silverstein – “The Loser”

    Mama said I’d lose my head

    If it wasn’t fastened on.

    Today I guess it wasn’t

    ‘Cause while playing with my cousin

    It fell off and rolled away

    And now it’s gone.

     

    And I can’t look for it

    Cause my eyes are in it,

    And I can’t call to it

    ‘Cause my mouth is on it

    (Couldn’t hear me anyway

    ‘Cause my ears are on it),

    Can’t even thing about it

    ‘Cause my brain is in it.

    So I guess I’ll sit down

    On this rock

    And rest for just a minute….

     

    (And what I thought was a rock turned out to be my head.)

    Shelvin Silverstein – “Smart”

    My dad gave me one dollar bill

    ‘Cause I’m his smartest son,

    And I swapped it for two shiny quarters

    ‘Cause two is more than one!

     

    And then I took the quarters

    And traded them to Lou

    For three dimes – I guess he don’t know

    That three is more than two!

     

    Just then, along came old blind Bates

    And just ‘cause he can’t see

    He gave me four nickel for my three dimes,

    And four is more than three!

     

    And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs

    Down at the seed-feed store,

    And the fool gave me five pennies for them,

    And five is more than four!

     

    And then I went and showed my dad,

    And he got red in the cheeks

    And closed his eyes and shook his head –

    Too proud of me to speak!

    Eloise Greenfield – “To Catch a Fish”

    It takes more than a wish

    to catch a fish

    you take the hook

    you add the bait

    you concentrate

    and then you wait

    you wait you wait

    but not a bite

    the fish don’t have

    an appetite

    so tell them what

    good bait you’ve got

    and how your bait

    can hit the spot

    this works a whole

    lot better than

    a wish

    if you really

    want to catch a fish.

     

    Eloise Greenfield – “Harriet Tubman”

    Harriet Tubman didn’t take no stuff

    Wasn’t scared of nothing neither

    Didn’t come in this world to be no slave

    And wasn’t going to stay one either.

     

    “Farewell!” she sang to her friends one night

    She was mighty sad to leave ‘em

    But she ran away that dark, hot night

    Ran looking for her freedom

     

    She ran to the woods and she ran through the woods

    With the slave catchers right behind her

    And she kept on going till she got to the North

    Where those mean men couldn’t find her

     

    Nineteen times she went back South

    To get three hundred others

    She ran for her freedom nineteen times

    To save Black sisters and brothers

    Harriet Tubman didn’t take no stuff

    Wasn’t scared of nothing neither

    Didn’t come in this world to be no slave

    And didn’t stay one either

     

    And didn’t stay one either.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.  by Helen H. Moore  

    When Martin Luther King was just a tiny little boy,

    His father taught him to be brave and true.

    His father was a preacher, and when young Martin grew,

    Martin learned to be a preacher, too.

     

    Martin worked for justice,

    Martin worked for peace.

    Martin worked so people could be free,.

    Martin had a dream that someday

    Children everywhere

    Would live in freedom and equality.

     

    Martin Luther King preached his message far and wide,

    In Washington they heard his message ring.

    But there were some who didn’t want to hear what Martin preached.

    and so they shot young Martin Luther King.

     

    Martin worked for justice.

    Martin worked for peace.

    Martin worked so people could be free.

    Martin had a dream that someday

    Children everywhere

    Would live in freedom and equality.

    George Washington Carver by Helen H. Moore 

    The farmers of the south were frightened

    by a little bug!

    Its name was the boll weevil

    (it was smaller than a slug).

    It ate up all the cotton crops,

    no one knew what to do,

    until Professor Carver

    showed them all

    a thing or two!

    “Plant some peanuts!”

    Carver said, “Those

    Weevils just won’t eat ’em!

    Peanuts will help the soil and those

    Boll weevils? We’ll defeat ’em!”

    The farmers did what Carver said,

    The peanuts grew and grew!

    “We’ve got too many nuts,” the farmers said,

    “Now what to do?”

    Professor Carver went into his lab

    And had a think.

    He worked with peanuts day and night,

    and quick as you can wink—

    he used the nuts to make all kinds of things,

    from bread to ink …in fact,

    he made ’bout everything

    except the kitchen sink,

    by using peanuts!

     

    In Daddy’s Arms by Folami Abiade 

     

    In daddy’s arms I am tall

    & close to the sun & warm

    In daddy’s arms

     

    In daddy’s arms

    I can see over the fence out back

    I can touch the bottom leaves of the big magnolia tree

    In Cousin Sukie’s yard

    In daddy’s arms

     

    In daddy’s arms the moon is close

    Closer at night time when I can almost touch it

    When it grins back at me from the wide twinkling skies

     

    In daddy’s arms I am tall

    Taller than Benny & my friends Ade & George

    Taller than Uncle Billy

    & best of all

    I am eye-ball-even-steven with my big brother Jamal

     

    In my daddy’s arms

    I am strong & dark like him & laughing

    Happier than the circus clowns

    With red painted grins

    When daddy spins me round & round

    & the whole world is crazy upside down

    I am big and strong & proud like him

    In daddy’s arms

    My daddy

     

    Martin Luther King, Jr.  by Helen H. Moore  

    When Martin Luther King was just a tiny little boy,

    His father taught him to be brave and true.

    His father was a preacher, and when young Martin grew,

    Martin learned to be a preacher, too.

     

    Martin worked for justice,

    Martin worked for peace.

    Martin worked so people could be free,.

    Martin had a dream that someday

    Children everywhere

    Would live in freedom and equality.

     

    Martin Luther King preached his message far and wide,

    In Washington they heard his message ring.

    But there were some who didn’t want to hear what Martin preached.

    and so they shot young Martin Luther King.

     

    Martin worked for justice.

    Martin worked for peace.

    Martin worked so people could be free.

    Martin had a dream that someday

    Children everywhere

    Would live in freedom and equality.