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In the summer of 2016, she was in the Teen Summer Musical "Peter Pan My Brother's Keeper" and had a spotlight performance which featured her original poetry. 

Power: From the Mouth of the Occupied

In 2015 Akilah was directed by Patrisse Cullors (#BlackLivesMatter, Co-Founder). She wrote and performed a monologue about her experiences in the public school system.

Akilah Franklin is courageous, independent and determined to carry out her dreams.  I submit this recommendation without the slightest reservation.


I was most impressed with Akilah’s ability to make her presence felt amongst her peers in a crowded room.  Langston Hughes Summer musical attracts hundreds of children each year ranging between the ages of 12 and 18.  Cast members are challenged to carve out their own space in rooms that competitively vie for attention.   I recall meeting Akilah who seemed to blend in with the rest of the cast, who would use her charisma to become a giant.  Her booming spirit, and self-assured personality created a warm, bold impression with all who stood beside her.  What set her apart from others was her self-confidence.  Her ability to stand alone in knowing her power was perfect for the stage.

Isiah Anderson Jr.
OOC Recreation Program Coordinator Citywide Performing Arts

isiah anderson jr.jpeg

Patrisse Cullors 

Author, Educator, Artist and Abolitionist



Photo credit: Giovanni Solis

Akilah Franklin, you are a light, a brilliant seer, and an amazing young Black woman. To hear that you are turning 18 years old is so special. When I met you, you were a young 13 year old deeply reflective child. Your gorgeous piece for Power: From the Mouths of the Occupied was so healing and generative for me and for the entire cast. I pray you are feeling all the warrior folk at your back. That in this moment you feel seen. You feel heard. You feel strong. I pray this18th birthday is the beginning of your adventurous and glorious journey into adulthood. Be gentle and be kind. 

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