Afraid of public speaking? Ariya Blow, 8, gives Morristown a primer in this MLK video

Back in third- or fourth grade, I played Yellowbeard in the class play. I had exactly one line–a simple sentence with no dependent clauses.

Something about “Sourdough Sally.” That’s all I remember now, and it was all I remembered then.

ariya blow and scott, her dad

Ariya Blow and her dad, Scott, after Ariya delivered an amazing tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Fast forward about two centuries to 2011, and little Ariya Blow.

There were plenty of eloquent speakers at Tuesday’s Black History Month Celebration, sponsored by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. One of them even was a football star with the New York Jets.

But afterwards, it was the 8-year-old from South Plainfield that everyone was talking about.

Ariya and an older sister take lessons from a nonprofit called New Jersey Orators.

I’m not sure exactly how that works. I just know that suddenly, I no longer fear IBM’s Watson quite so much.


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Copyright 2011


  1. Vernetta Smith says:

    She is fantastic speaker!!
    watch out world here she comes!!!

  2. Kevin Coughlin says:

    Ariya was amazing. The New Jersey Orators should send her on a promotional tour.

  3. Ariya’s presentation of the MLK story was marvelous. Her ability to sing essentially note perfect snippets of the songs was phenomenal. She may have perfect pitch in addition to being a powerfully dynamic presenter. Kudos to Ariya and her parents who obviously put a great amount of time into this project.

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