Poetry contest

Buford City Schools Celebrate Black History Month With Second Annual Poetry Contest

In commemoration of Black History Month, Buford middle and high school students had the opportunity to express themselves creatively through writing in the system’s second annual poetry contest.

Organized by the language arts departments of BMS and BHS as part of Buford Central Office’s Diversity and Inclusion Program, students from both schools were given topics to create their literary works. Judged by a panel of school district judges, winners were chosen from each school and recognized prior to the Buford School Board meeting on Monday, February 21.

Students could choose from one of the following prompts:

  • A poem about the impact of black history
  • A poem inspired by a quote from an African American
  • A poem that honors and celebrates an African American who has made a positive contribution to society

The following students were recognized for their submissions:

Buford High School

  • First Place – Jennifer Tudor, Grade Seven
  • Second place – Olivia Duong, eighth grade
  • Third Place – Hannah Roy, Sixth Grade

Buford High School

  • First place — Isis Davis, 11and to note
  • Second place – Sabrina Park, 11and to note
  • Third place – Tatum Ozment, 12and to note

“BCS is proud to provide all students with diverse opportunities to engage in learning activities that showcase their creativity and imagination,” said Dr. Lacrecia Smith, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. , Head of Diversity and Inclusion Program. “Congratulations to all of the talented writers who submitted entries for this year’s BHM Poetry Competition.”

FEATURED PHOTO: The winners of the 2022 Black History Month Poetry Contest from City of Buford Schools are, from left, Buford Middle School students Jennifer Tudor, Olivia Duong and Hannah Roy. In the back row, left to right, are Buford High School students Isis Davis, Sabrina Park and Tatum Ozment. Photo courtesy of Buford City Schools.


“Paradox” by Jennifer Tudor, seventh grade

Hatred is a disease. She feasts on the lost.

Especially when searching, wretches looking for fuel to live

And unfortunate enough to find resentment waiting for them.

Hate is also like a drug. It is addictive because it relieves

but has debilitating drawbacks.

And inevitably, this leads to a steep and rapid fall.

He poisons the mind with his cunning and deceit,

and it’s sneaky; many do not realize that the emotion creeping into their minds is hate. It never seems wrong in the moment; how can it be wrong if everyone feels and acts this way? People can’t believe the common belief is wrong,

because their safe little world would crumble around them.

They cannot realize that it is inevitable.

There is, however, another facet to this paradox.

One that has benefits for both sides of the relationship,

if emotion is someone else’s gift to you,

or you feel the emotion for yourself.

The emotion that doesn’t tear people to the seams,

but sew them up again.

The emotion that ends up chasing away hate,

and it is often the very thing that stills the roaring flame of resentment and hatred. And this is love.

And we all deserve a bit of that, because behind the meaningless shadow of your skin, we are all capable of hate and love.

Inspired by a quote from Coretta Scott King, Hatred is too heavy a burden to bear. It hurts the hater more than it hurts the hated.


A Poem by Isis Davis, Grade 11

He dreamed of a world where people were equal

During his life he experienced the separation of the races

As an activist and minister, his efforts for peace were not in vain He helped cement the belief that people are the same everywhere

She knows why the caged bird sings

Fighting for our rights through his writings and poetry

She connected to the world and showed us the beauty of simple things A vision of the world was revealed to us as only a poet sees it

He claimed what a wonderful world we live in

Millions of people were moved by his voice and trumpeter skills

Representing jazz and improvising with such skill that heads turned As black culture blossomed and blossomed, he renewed our wills

She gave new meaning to being the first lady

She worked to be a role model for women and raise awareness of issues in society She worked hard to stand out as a black woman in a sea

Full of people who didn’t want her to succeed, feeding the lights in me and you


A poem by eighth grade Olivia Duong

There was a time, many times ago,

When a scale had formed low.

With majestic splendor and flowing colors,

People called the mountains “Music”.

With time running away and the range now a great giant,

A mountain rose higher, like a beautiful and formidable fortress with blazing snow,

But with certain speed and certain viciousness, the blizzard caged the lowly precipice for itself.

Then for years the weeping musical Everest, with its worn snow top,

I couldn’t allow any black person to earn anything but contempt.

“For no less than normal dirt should receive such a reward!” The blizzard howled,

Until finally a certain individual proves them smaller.

Like a wisp of ash above pure white snow,

One stood at the top with a soft glow.

Duke Ellington, that’s his name!

The man who gave a new name to jazz!

He created new heights for all.

His passion gave other points a chance,

To prance in the mountains and create their own summit,

With the fear that a violent blizzard will bring them down.

For who has such an obtuse mind to separate music by colors,

When the catalysts of the song were played by all?

The hottest mountain, though still covered in ice and frost,

Was now a greener being among the rest.


“Conductor Harriet” by Sabrina Park, Grade 11

VSconductor of the Underground Railroad, was she Once enslaved, now running NOTo no more heavy loads- DComing as she is, to win what’s forbidden youpon His head, lies Posters wanted for his return VScontinuous journeys far from the burning fire Jtime is essential and comes out quickly Oto Freedom’s northward journey- Rtireless was she, throughout the nation’s history Her strong spirit comes Around Aanonymous subway trips Rcarefree spirit through the Fugitive Slave Act Rhopefuls provide the greatest impact Idependence from below End of an era up and down and down Jis the end of his journey to end slavery


“Ruby Bridges Did You Know?” by Hannah Roy, sixth grade

When you walked in the door with your head held high when you were just trying to get to school, did you know that all the little girls in the town of New Orleans held their heads a little higher when you walked through that door ?

Did you know that at that time you were like a hero about everything?

Did you know this when you were only 6 years old? Did you know that you make the world a little better? Did you know the world would never be the same again? Will never be the same again?

Did you know you made a difference?

I hope you know how brave and strong you have been.


“A Blade Is What You Make Of It” by Tatum Ozment, Grade 12

Inspired by the lyrics of Desmond Tutu, “My humanity is linked to yours, because we can only be human together.”

What is drier than the human heart?

It bleeds the same hue since the beginning of time Beating again, smiling, when all other logic rises to leave and yet we still fall at the feet of mankind’s greatest crime We put the value of a soul on the thinnest head of a tithe

Long on the river of forgotten effort, we sadly prayed to Him knowing that all fervent and joyful rhyme of spirit Balances on the edge of a single sharp blade.

We no longer try to conform to the empty advice we give We get rid of the necessary words we sit and mime

Instead, we share a seat with the spirit of the upstart

And above the voice of reason and brotherhood we still climb The color of skin, we still find ways to despise and smear Until it’s our own friends we carelessly try to abrade Are we still burning our skin and using hollow words instead of thyme? Balancing the weight of the world on a double edged blade?

Why not roll out a new carpet on our comparison acts? Overdue is the expected hurtful paradigm shift

That we should all be living in battered broken rooms

Too long have we played in this fruitless pantomime For we all drape the branches of the same beautiful brooklime The thread that splits our streets will loosen and wither As we learn that all our hearts are pure, spotless and first And there will be more room for the handle of the world blade.

All our hearts are tied together, singing in the same internal rhyme A drop of blood, in the rest of us it will invade

All in the song, the souls of mankind chime

And we cut the partition with the sharp blade of love.