“Ain’t Gonna Back Down” is Oakland International High School’s Cat’s Meow of Poetry Rap
By Breakfast, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, Oakland International High School, assisted by Sailaja Suresh, Director, Oakland International High School Learning Lab
At Oakland International High School, all of our students are recently arrived immigrants. They have come here from over 30 different countries and are eager to learn, to grow, and to succeed in their new home in Oakland. Meow!
Their story is the story of America, of building new lives, of dreaming, of working hard and finding success against all odds. Our ACE Learning Center and classes provide our students and their families with the support and knowledge they need to be successful here in the United States.
Most recently, Lin-Manuel Miranda put Alexander Hamilton‘s immigrant story into the public narrative, through Hamilton: An American Musical. It is about the founding and creation of our young country and the countless contributions that young, dedicated, brilliant immigrants have made to our nation.
Last month, our 11th graders had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to watch Hamilton and to engage with the history of our country through their own stories as immigrants. Our students wrote their stories and produced raps and songs about their experiences. Sathusha, a Tamil speaker from Malaysia, and Dah May, a Karen refugee from Thailand, produced this rap called, “Ain’t Gonna Back Down.”
I guarantee it’s going to be the most awesome thing you see all day. We’re so proud of them and of all of our students’ hopes, dreams, and dedication, we just had to share this with you all.
Check it out here. “Ain’t gonna back down” will by your new cat call.