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Moving video adaptation of Lucille Clifton poem "what the mirror said"

Please take a few minutes to watch this powerful video, depicting one of the most profound moments in poetry. This is why BOA is here. what the mirror said An adaptation of the poem by Lucille Clifton Directed and Produced by Sydney Howe Adapted and Performed by Prerna Class 11 Prerna School is a free afternoon-only school run by Study Hall Educational Foundation in Lucknow, UP, India. Prerna exclusively serves underprivileged girls from the surrounding slums in the Study Hall neighborhood. Many students work as domestic helpers both before and after attending school and most would not be able to attend school at all without Prerna. Prerna girls face a plethora of problems in their own homes, including extreme domestic violence, child marriage, and alcoholism. Most come from lower castes and extreme poverty. Several live in impermanent shanties with no electricity or running water. Some have to fight unwilling parents for the right to attend school just because they are girls, even though Prerna is free of charge. Despite all of these roadblocks, Prerna graduates have experienced huge successes--this year's entire graduating class is attending university next year. Several Class 11 students now have at least one supportive parent. However, keeping the girls in school is still a struggle: Class 11 currently has 18 students, but Class 12 was significantly smaller, after losing several students to coerced arranged marriages. "what the mirror said" was written by Pulitzer-nominated African-American poet Lucille Clifton in 1980. We talked about the poem as a way to discuss the right of women to control their own bodies and fates. Like all women in India (and everywhere), Prerna girls are subjected to street harassment (known here as "eve-teasing"). Some also face unwanted physical contact from men in their own homes. We explored this poem as a way to help Class 11 students define themselves and their friends as strong, self-respecting, respect-deserving human beings and say, "We are SOMEBODY!" --Sydney Howe
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