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Speak The Truth



Housed in the College of Communication under the leadership of Head Coach Frank Thompson, The University of Alabama Speech Team is the official competitive speech organization for UA.  Having won numerous national championships, The University of Alabama Speech Team is one of the premier speech teams in the country.


Sponsored by the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, Speak the Truth is an annual University of Alabama Speech Team performance event celebrating ethical and inspirational communication at UA. Linking various artistic and academic disciplines with a commitment to bring ethical, justice-based communications into politics and public life, the subject matter performed by speech team participants in Speak the Truth focuses on performance works that have inspired activists and movements for social change.

student speaking 

UA Speech Team members perform pieces from the following genres of competitive college forensics:

  • Persuasive speaking – an original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values, or actions of the audience;
  • Communication analysis – an original speech by the student designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, film, campaign, etc., through the use of rhetorical principles; and
  • Poetry interpretation – a selection of poetry of literary merit which may be drawn from one or more sources.


Speak The Truth hopes to create a wider interest in ethics-based spoken word poetry and to encourage students on campus and in area high schools to write and perform their own poetry and persuasive texts.



Current Achievements


The first annual Speak the Truth performance at the University of Alabama was held February 13, 2007 in the Ferguson Theater. Performances included the following:

  • Sonequa Martin, Prose: from “Jim & Louella’s Homemade Heart-Fix Remedy” by Bertice Berry
  • Alyssa Reinecker, Persuasion: Original speech regarding Women’s Issues
  • Austin McDonald &  Taylor Curtis, Dramatic Duo Interpretation: from “Jesus on the Oil Tank” by Jonathan Marc Sherman
  • Jenny Wells, Prose: from  “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
  • Emily Hopper, Persuasion: Speech on state laws regarding incest
  • Sonequa Martin, Dramatic Interpretation: from the documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem” by Spike Lee