Your Students Have Talent: United Colours of Harlem

Posted by Speakeasy News > Sunday 24 November 2019 >

We always love to read students' work. Here are some poems pupils wrote as their final task in a sequence from Shine Bright 2e: File 1 United Colours of Harlem.

In this sequence,  in Axe 3  Le village, le quartier, la ville, students discovered Harlem and considered what makes it such an inspiring neighbourhood. As their final task, they were asked to write  and recite a short poem about
Harlem for a  poetry competition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance.

Here are some great entries by pupils at Lycée Jean Jaurès, Châtenay-Malabry (92).

Today I come back in the city
I am walking in the neighborhood
It doesn’t bring back memories of my childhood
There are many new modern buildings, such a pity!

There are a lot of white people, it’s a surprise,
But they are the reason Harlem as to modernize
The borough is less colorful
I think it is not beautiful.

My city has become the city of shops.
Even so, I find Harlem top.
When I am walking, I just see huge buildings.

Where are the black people?
Where is the culture of Harlem?
She is left with them.

In the new Harlem it is not beautiful
It is not colourful
There are a lot of new buildings
And I can’t see any paintings
Where is my class of hip-hop?
They preferred to build a new shop.

In the ne Harlem it is not beautiful,
It is not colourful
This is my district
With nothing of artistic
I am looking for the flowers
And I am counting the hours.
Now I walk
And I talk for Harlem, I talk.
It is a success
But it is not flawless

I remember this amazing place
With this beautiful landscape
Am I always in my city?
Now it’s full of shops and modernity
I don’t recognize my neighbourhood
I see only an area with malls and fast-food
I remember this special feeling
To see a colourful brownstone building
I want to see once again
Musicians, pianists, poets of Harlem
Today I am sad to say,
This mood may never return one day
Sometimes I cry
Because the heart of my district is going to die.



Your students have talent, too!
We are always happy to celebrate students' work at any class level. If you have examples you would like to share, please send them to us, letting us know about the task pupils were responding to.

Webpicks Useful websites and online tools for classroom use
> Love in Harlem: Teaching Tools
Downloadable resources ready to use in class
> James Baldwin: Love in Harlem
> Activist New York