‘be like DJ Khaled…hang out with Tupac’: Poems & Thoughts on Community and Fame

Students read Gwendolyn Brook’s poem about superstar singer and activist, ‘Paul Robeson’ and then wrote about community and fame from their viewpoint.

Paul Robeson

by Gwendolyn Brooks

That time
we all heard it,
cool and clear,
cutting across the hot grit of the day.
The major Voice.
The adult Voice
forgoing Rolling River,
forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge
and other symptoms of an old despond.
Warning, in music-words
devout and large,
that we are each other’s
we are each other’s
we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.

From The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks (Library of America, 2005). Copyright © 1970 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted By Consent of Brooks Permissions.

Lesson Note: ‘Rather than love, or money or fame…give me truth.’ Thoreau

Ms. Romano, 7th Grade

Our Community

by Kareen H.

This is our Community. We fought for it.

We’re Black and fought for our freedom.

Our leader, MLK fought for us to have

school to be in our world not a white

man’s world.

That is our Community.


by Keith C.

We are the neighborhood

We are a group of people

We are like

peanut butter

We are the same race

Some are students in school

who live in the same neighborhood

We are pretty

We are like peanut butter

Ms. Turner, 6th Grade


by Gregory

I’m a friend at school

but we are players on the field

I keep my head held high

we think about the community.


by James L.

I’m a friend here and

I’m a friend there

I help my friend with her

hair like a butterfly keep my head up

high, and I shine


Ms. Romano, 7th Grade


by Hasan A.

If I were famous, I would be like DJ Khaled

I would hang out with Tupac. I’d make 4 million.


by Latera

If I were famous I would stay the same

and go shopping because I wold have a lot

of money, and I will hang out with myself

because I don’t really like people and I

will be famous for being


Ms. Turner, 6th Grade

My Community

by Jacob W.

My community fights

they don’;t give up

They keep going

They won’t stop

That’s because

we fight together

we rise together




My Community

by Josiah W.

All about my neighborhood

or with friend and family

I help others in need in my community

Help my community stay clean

Help elderly people with groceries.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.