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"Expressway," a collection of poems written by Justus Clark, is available for sale on Amazon.

Bishop Dunne Freshman Justus Clark is Emmett Till in TeCo Production Opening October 22

Freshman Justus Lederrick Clark is one of the youngest published poets in America.

He wrote his first poem at the age of eight, entitled, “The Ride,” which was about his mom. By the age of 12, his collection of poems were put into a book, Express Way, and sent to a publisher that sold out all of its copies in a few months. Another printing of 2,500 copies is almost gone. Councilman Dwayne Carraway bought 1,000 for his Young Eagles Association and the remaining 1,500 have been sold at different events.

Justus began reading at such a young age that his father, Derrick, would take him to Barnes & Noble and allow him to pick a book to read aloud to surprised shoppers. He also loves to swim and hopes to join the Falcon swim team soon. But this month he’s been busy with play practices at the local TeCo Theater on Jefferson. He plays the lead in the production of The Face of Emmett Till. It’s a harrowing story about a 14-year-old boy who was abducted from his home in 1955 and brutally murdered. The event caused a national uproar and is credited for sparking the Civil Rights Movement.

Justus plays Emmett Till; and TeCo Theater founder Theresa Coleman says even in rehearsals—every evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.—his performance is captivating. The play is a powerful reminder of an event during the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s that still resonates. The play opens October 22, 2015, and runs through November 1, 2015.

He will also be in the Bishop Dunne Revue in November, reciting a poem he’s written entitled, “Click Clack, Pow,” about Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner, and Michael Brown. Justus was interviewed for a second time on K104 Friday morning, October 16, 2015, about his poetry, book, and starring role in the play. Ms. Coleman considers Justus a “young Langston Hughes,” the American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri, who was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, which Justus now emulates.

Justus’s mother, Tracy, is a psychologist and may be the reason he’s so interested in feelings, poetry, and reading. His father is a technician for DISD, and getting good grades is expected. Justus attended A.W. Brown before coming to Bishop Dunne this year, and he says the faculty and staff are exceptional, the school is incredibly clean, and the food in the cafeteria is the best he’s ever tasted.

His favorite classes are English and biology. Justus plans on majoring in science in college, and hopes to attend John Hopkins or the Naval Academy. That might sound like a stretch for most kids, but at the age of seven he won a science contest and already has a $1,000 college scholarship waiting for him.

This Falcon’s future as an anesthesiologist may be years away, but Justus will probably spend his rare free time writing more great poetry about it.

 

For more information on Bishop Dunne Catholic School see the school's website: www.bdcs.org 

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