7 Tips for Writing Poetry on Civil Rights

In honor of a movement that changed the world for the better, Power Poetry invites you to slam on civil rights!

We want to hear what YOU think about civil rights. And we can’t wait to see how you use your creative powers to slam on a movement that came to life in the 1950s and 1960s and continues to impact us today.

  1. Learn. Learn about how the Civil Rights Movement began and its connection to Black History Month. Check out historical footage of the the movement in action or listen to the music that inspired a nation. You can even make a multimedia poem featuring your Civil Rights favorite music or videos!
  2. Discover. Sure you've heard of Martin Luther King, Jr., but are you familiar with Ella Baker,Bayard RustinFanny Lou Hamer or Shirley Chisholm? Do you REALLY know about the Freedom Rides and Woolworth Lunch Counter protests? Become inspired by a Civil Rights Movement figure, poet or event and slam on why it connects with you.
  3. Point of View. Think about what it was like to be in a protest or at a speech during the Civil Rights Movement and write about it! Make sure to set the scene. You can even write in the voice of a famous Civil Rights leader or figure you just discovered more about.
  4. Read. Poetry and art were important to the Civil Rights Movement just like they're important to us today. Browse poems about civil rights on Power Poetry and then write your own poem on race, identity, or civil rights in response to the ones you read!
  5. Art and Politics. Poetry can be used to change the world. Read about the political role that poetry played in the Black Arts Movement and discover if hip hop is the ‘new’ civil rights. Then, slam on how the art of writing poetry affects current events.
  6. Impact. We know that the Civil Rights Movement had an enormous impact “back then,” but what about now? Think about how the Civil Rights Movement continues to influence your life and your community. Then write a poem linking the past to today.
  7. Write, Write, Write. Write a poem about a Civil Rights topic of your choice and submit it to Power Poetry. We want to know what this movement means to you.

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