Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Declamation

Resources for declamation. Includes links to archived declamation performances, sources for material.

Spring 2021

This video features Prize Declamation performances for the 2020-21 academic year. Due to the pandemic, it was filmed in an empty auditorium, but the participating students relished the prospect of speaking from the stage. 

Prize Declamation, Spring 2021

Students 

Class I & II

  • Julianna Zhao, excerpt from The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Prize Dec Winner: Cornelia Martin Sullivan Award & Alfred Lawrence Kaufman Prize
  • Graciela Berman Reinhardt, excerpt from The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton, second place
  • Ruth Shiferaw, excerpt from "The Hill We Climb" by Amanda Gorman, third place
  • Alex Chou, excerpt from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, fourth place
  • Jack Trapanick, excerpt from Socrates Apologia

Classes III & IV

  • Mirabelle Berman Reinhardt, excerpt from The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, division winner
  • Selina Tang, excerpt from How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Jessie Wang, "Worms" by Carl Dennis

Class V

  • Ailin Sha, excerpt from “Commencement Speech to Wellesley College's Class of 2015” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, division winner

 

2020-2021 Public declamation

These videos were made during the 2019-2021 quarantine period, with students resourcefully filming in their bedrooms, dining rooms, and backyards. Although the settings were unusual, all of these serve as excellent examples of the best of the BLS declamation tradition.

  • Spring 2021 Includes excerpts from the following:
    • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “Commencement Speech to Wellesley College's Class of 2015” 
    • Alexander, Michelle, The New Jim Crow
    • Dennis, Carl. “Worms"
    • Hinton, Anthony Ray. The Sun Does Shine
    • Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go
    • Olayiwola, Porsha. "Boston Ode"
    • Socrates. "Apologia"
    • Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club
    • Xu, Canwen. "I Am Not Your Asian STEREOTYPE"
  • Winter 2021 Includes excerpts from the following:
    • Angelou, Maya. "Equality"
    • Angelou, Maya. "On the Pulse of Morning"
    • Biden, Joseph Robinette. “Inaugural Address ”
    • Kate Chopin. "The Story of an Hour"
    • Coolidge, Calvin. "Toleration and Liberalism"
    • Gorman, Amanda. "The Hill We Climb"
    • Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist
    • Shakespeare, William. All's Well That Ends Well
    • Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste
    • Williams, Miller. “Of History and Hope"
  • Fall 2020 Includes excerpts the following:
    • Anthony, Trey. Da Kink in My Hair
    • Chaplin, Charlie. The Great Dictator
    • Harris, Kamala. "Vice President-Elect Acceptance Speech"
    • Kennedy, John Fitzgerald. "The City Upon a Hill"
    • Kennedy, Robert F. "Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr."
    • Le Guin, Ursula. "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"
    • Margolin, Jamie. "Jamie Margolin's 2019 Congressional Testimony"
    • Morrison, Toni. "Nobel Lecture"
    • Muzondiwa, Takunda. "Yesterday I was African, today I am lost"
    • Shire, Warsan. "Home"

2020 Hope and Justice declamation

When school closed abruptly in the spring of 2020, students rallied to present final inspirational declamation pieces instead of the traditional Prize Declamation. Recorded in their homes and yards, they showed great ingenuity and fortitude and worked with their teachers and several graduating seniors to produce this memorable collection.

Hope and Justice Includes excerpts from the following:

  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. "Commencement Address at Williams College, 2017"
  • Alexander, Kwame. "'Running For Your Life': A Community Poem For Ahmaud Arbery"
  • Angelou, Maya. "The Inauguration; Maya Angelou: 'On the Pulse of Morning"
  • Baraka, Amiri. "Why is We American"
  • Centolella, Thomas. "The Hope I Know"
  • Gill, Nikita. "kindness"
  • King, Martin Luther. "The Other America"
  • Thunberg, Greta. "Change Is Coming, Whether You Like It or Not"
  • Winfrey, Oprah. "What Will Your Essential Service Be?"