A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

Akeelah: [quoting Marianne Williamson] Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Dr. Larabee: Does that mean anything to you?
Akeelah: I don't know.
Dr. Larabee: It's written in plain English. What does it mean?
Akeelah: That I'm not supposed to be afraid?
Dr. Larabee: Afraid of what?
Akeelah: Afraid of... me?
[last lines]
Akeelah: You know that feeling where everything feels right? Where you don't have to worry about tomorrow or yesterday, where you feel safe and know you're doing the best you can? There's a word for that, it's called love. L-O-V-E.
Dr. Larabee: Where do you think big words come from?
Akeelah: People with big brains?
Katie Kerwin McCrimmon: [commentating on TV] Several of the kids placed very high in last year's bee, especially Dylan Chiu. He's come in second two years in a row.
Derrick-T: Kick his butt, Akeelah! B-U-T-T, butt!
Akeelah: [Javier has just kissed her] Why'd you do that?
Javier: I had an impulse. Are you gonna sue me for sexual harassment?
[pause, then they both laugh]
Akeelah: Okay. But when I'm at the bee, and they tell me to spell some little fish from Australia or some weird bacteria on the moon, we're going to wish we'd done a little bit more "rotemorizing" and not so much essay reading. If you don't mind me saying.
Dr. Larabee: Bacteria don't exist on the moon.
Mr. Welch: So whoever wins the school bee today, gets to represent Crenshaw at the district bee next month.
Akeelah: Why would anybody want to represent a school where they can't even put doors on the toilet stalls?
[coughing]
Mr. Welch: Akeelah, if we can't show students can perform were not going to have money for books let alone bathroom doors.
[pause]
Mr. Welch: Now I want you to do the bee today, okay?
Akeelah: So everyone can call me a freak and a brainiac? No I ain't down for no spelling bee.
Mr. Welch: Well, maybe you'd be down for spending the rest of the semester in detention for all your absences?
Akeelah: I'm naturally inquisitive.
Dr. Larabee: Yes, which is also sometimes confused with being naturally obnoxious.
Derrick-T: Man, that's a white word if I ever heard one. It's a trick. Stop playing!

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