7th grader writes “I Too Have a Dream,” winning poetry contest

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:02 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A bright young man used the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and transformed them into a poem.

Noah Berry, 13, won a poetry contest with the Lavretta Arts Center, called the ‘I Have a Dream Speech for Today.’

As only a 7th grader, his mom already called him a trailblazer.

“He said I’m going to write it from the eyes of a child because when kids go to the park, they play with each other,” said Janelle Berry. “They don’t look at color, they don’t look at anything, so he was like, ‘I want to write it from that perspective,’ and I was like, ‘ok, that’s pretty cool.’”

Noah is a student at Phillips Prep and already an advocate for civil rights.

“This world really needs more peace and love, and some people don’t get respected the same way as others do,” he said. “I just want people to hope for the next generation, and maybe the next generation can change things this generation hasn’t.”

Noah titled his poem “I Too Have a Dream.”

There was one main requirement: take MLK’s “I Have a Dream Speech’ and make it modern day. Noah hit the ground running and finished the poem in four days.

MCPSS posted his poem to Facebook, and it gained lots of traction. It had more than 4,000 likes, 800 comments, and nearly 2000 shares.

Noah did not expect the huge response.

“I was like ‘oh okay, that’s kind of crazy,’” he said. “I want people to treat people the same as if they were really their friends, like even strangers and anyone around the world because you never know what someone is going through.”

He added MLK has always been a role model.

“He was just a peaceful man, and he just viewed the world is just a nice and loving way, no matter how people treated him and how bad they treated him,” he said.

This is the full poem:

by Noah Berry
by Noah Berry(Noah Berry)

Noah said his goal for the future is to continue writing poetry and turn it into music.

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