A smart schoolgirl has won recognition for her poem about racism.
Sharlize Sowden, a pupil at Whitburn Church of England Academy, was awarded second place in a Show Racism the Red Card contest for her story of a white cloud and a black cloud working together.
The school, in Rackly Way, Whitburn, took part in a national contest, run by the anti-racism charity, which aims to encourage pupils to learn more about racism and how it affects people.
Pupils were encouraged to think about how racial abuse affects victims as well as their family members and friends.
The contest invited Key Stage 3 students to create anti-racism themed artwork, creative writing, a short film, or a music piece.
Year 9 pupil Sharlize, from South Shields, was awarded her prize in the creative writing category.
The 14-year-old was honoured for her poem, Racism, at a special ceremony at the home of West Ham United, in London.
Carla Craig, a teacher who was involved with running the competition at the school, said: “We ran the competition across the whole of Key Stage 3, which is around 600 pupils. We had a large range of artwork and written entries, which showed very high standards. Once I received Sharlize’s entry I knew it was an outstanding piece of written work and I am very proud that she has received the award and recognition for her work.”
Racism, by Sharlize Sowden
Once there was a cloud of White and a cloud of Black.
The White lived in the North, the Black lived in the South and that seemed to be that, but then one day the wind had blew the Black towards the White, and the White was frightened because this did not seem right.
Whites began to bully Blacks for the colour of his fluff.
Believing he did not belong, he wasn’t White enough.
Black was sad, the Whites were glad, no rain was going to fall. Yet that single White, in a mind that’s right said “That’s not the case at all, look at all the crops emerging from the soil below. Without a little rain how were they supposed to grow? And how about when water falls and fills up all the sea? If there was none to evaporate then would there be me?”
The Whites felt bad and moved away, leaving White with Black. Friendship grew as they laughed through the days till Black went back.