In conjunction with the German American Heritage Center's current exhibition The White Rose: The Student Resistance Against Hitler, Munich 1942-1943, the Davenport venue sponsored a poetry contest seeking original works inspired by the theme of “resistance.” All individuals chosen for the slam were between 13 and 20 years of age, with their poems five minutes or less in length, and the contest winners received $100 as compensation for their entries. With the kind permission of the GAHC and the authors, here are the remainder of winning entries, with four additional poems found at “Words of Resistance: Part I” and “Words of Resistance: Part II.”


Anjuli Kranz, 13 years old, Williams Intermediate


We fight to survive in a harsh world
We put our keys between our fingers when we walk just to feel safe
We took the hate.
Body shamed every day.
We took the hate
Fighting the urge to cry
We took the hate
We live with abuse from insecure babies thinking they are men
We took the hate
But no longer.
We won't take the hate
We won't let men take advantage of us
We won't take the hate
We wanted to get our rights
For so long we fought
Just for society to laugh in our faces
We won't take the hate any more.
We waited to vote, do taxes and land
No longer will we wait for men to give us permission.
We will take what's ours.
We will resist.


a., 15 years old, West High School

We resist against the regime,
Despite the danger.
We could be caught any moment.
We drop leaflets everywhere. In the mail. On walls. From the sky. In attempts to inform people
of the reality that we face.
They wouldn't trust us.

It isn't foolproof. It is proof of fools.
Eventually, we fall. Everyone does. That's how life is.
But we did what we wanted to do and more.


Georgia Hayden, 13 years old, Sudlow


We explain why we’re like this,

just to be discriminated against.

They make us feel like we’re the

problem when it’s them who can’t

see the real humans we still are.


Us, this community isn’t different,

but unique and unnatural,

Those words don’t mean “bad”

it’s just another way of describing ones

true beauty with a lawful twist.


If you find that wrong, you

research non factual articles mocking

us and how we are.

Now that’s when you’ve gone too far.


We didn’t give in, nor give any

less effort to win.

People still face hatred despite the law,


We gave the effort to fix things, we

didn’t give in,

Yet we don’t win.


The picture perfect side is not the reality,

But instead everyone has to fight for



Many businesses still remain

inaccessible to people with disabilities.

That’s like being handed a canvas and

The telling another person to build

their own.


They have this miraculous advantage and they

start to realize they can teroize and

come for the ones that don’t.


Bystanders don’t understand anything when

it comes to this injustice, we feel as were

being looked down upon for being different.


We are declined jobs or, were

not always granted them.

These privileged people get things handed

right to them,

while we needed a law just to have

accessible buses to those who need it.


People are sometimes unsatisfied with

their placement,

or their placement treats them unfairly.


After all this time these people who

resisted to be discriminated against got

us somewhere,

And that’s just something to be aware of


Even though it was only passed thirty

two years ago, they are already trying

to ignore it.

They have noticed the fact they can get

away with these forgotten bits…


Mahiela Hewitt, 17 years old, Rock Island High School

Am I Wrong?

I ask after every argument

Should I leave?

I’m sorry

Words that flow out my mouth almost like it's on repeat

Why are you already unhinged,

What did I do wrong?

I put my hand out for help and you smack it down

The word "help" races through my mind

Is this abuse?

No, it can't be it's my fault,

My fault, this again

Why do I think it's my fault

I'm trapped, locked in my own cell

I can't leave I'm scared of what's to come

Will he have an outburst

Will I stay trapped

Even if I leave I still have me

My mind, the thoughts, the fears

the things I'm too scared to do like run.

Run, run away


Spencer Powell, 13 years old, Sudlow Intermediate

They “Fought”

On the boat…

On the.. Boat

They laid there on the boat

Crying,lying and dying

Trading just trading they said

People fighting trying to survive

Ancestors written in memory of the past

The day that is not gone a day people remember

Though a tough subject and we have thought

Will never know the true sacrifices they have fought

But thats not the only slavery there was

1526 to 1867

Men women children alike all sacrificed not just in one night

They tried to run tried to resist

But in that time there was a light there were still people

Who fought for a right

Thomas Clarkson

William Cowper

Olaudah Equiano

Mary Prince


Just a few names fought for liberty

Just a few names who fought for justice

Thomas clarkson

Thomas clarkson saw the challenge

Though he still fought to infringe what he saw

He traveled the lands

And traveled far he found the purpose

The end of the circus

He had the idea

An idea that fought the tyranny he saw

So he got the captains the crew and the original workers

He put great risk

And traveled the lengths

But at the end he found the passion

He found what was wrong

What was depleted

He got witnesses and found what would beat em!

He wrote a book

The History, Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament

Chronicled what he saw

He helped put an end to this mass mutiny

Though they were still hurt, hurt brutally

Mary prince

She knew the troubles and knew them well

And the trouble that would entail

After being a slave

And trying to escape she failed

But did not let her differences erase

She kept on fighting

And fighting she shall

She went public with what her past created

And helped end the fight

To get her right


Olaudah Equiano

Was a slave beaten and treatin like a cattle

And all you could hear sounds like a rattle

He wrote a story

And wrote it well

About the kidnapping

He was trapped and captured

Taken from his home

No more never again never will he see his home again


Just imagine being stripped away from the land you love not knowing what happened

By someone with power

They crossed the water just like slimes

How was this not a crime

Just forced to buy freedom he was meant to have

So he wrote some books and fought


William cowper was a man

A poet of sorts and wrote many he did

He lived and sorts

With what he could write

And fought ideas

fought, fought all of these people fought, though not together they created a bond

Not knowing each other but knowing by fame their resistance worked well but not well enough

It did not end the battle so let's all let out a huff

Your mind is running and running your mind is racing like a treadmill

Your reading or listening to these words and in these feelings you may

Feel remorse love anger

For these people who spent their lives fighting for something they shouldn't have needed to fight in the first place

These were superheroes not ones people knew they needed

Kids sit through there language arts class remembering what happened in the past not even

150 years ago in which people still stand up to fight

So all the people who fought through history

Deserves that liberty

these were all people who fought very well though people still face troubles with nowadays ideas so let's all use this poem to find a new way we are on the right track but there is still

A delay

racism that people deal with

don't be a bystander you have to help

So if you see one person doing horrible horrendous things think of this

And this of “resistance”


The White Rose: The Student Resistance Against Hitler, Munich 1942-1943 will be on display at the German American Heritage Center from through February 12, with regular venue hours Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Exhibit entrance is free with $3-5 museum admission, and more information is available by calling (563)322-8844 and visiting

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher