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Winners of AARLCC’s 2013 Black History Month Essay Contest

Christina Francois

Winners of AARLCC’s 2013 Black History Month Essay Contest

Submitted by Steve Vinik

      On Feb. 16, 2013 during a ceremony in the auditorium, prizes will be awarded to three Broward County students for their winning essays in the Black History Month essay contest held annually at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC). The contest was sponsored by the Friends of AARLCC with prizes courtesy of Best Buy.

     The subject of their essays was the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963—where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The essay writers were asked. ..

     What were the issues that caused the March on Washington?

     Who were the organizers of the March on Washington and what did they hope would happen?

     If the March on Washington were to occur today, what are some of the issues that your generation would be willing to march for in protest?                                              

     Who do you think would lead and organize the March today and why?

 Category: Grades 4-6

Janay Oliver, Grade 4, Welleby Elementary School

     In her essay, Janay says, “There are many issues that we have in America today that I think we need to solve. An example is gun violence in schools. Too many young people are being killed be-cause it is so easy to get guns. We need to stop this violence by making gun laws more strict. Beyonce and Jay Z have both spoken out about this issue. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have also tried to help with gun control. If we had a march today, I think that Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey should lead the march for making gun control laws more strict.”

Category: Grades 7-9

Christina Francois, Grade 7, McNicol Middle School

     Christina writes that, “Some issues our generation fights for are gay and lesbian rights and against modern racism. For example, in 2007-2008 students at the local high school in Charleston, Mississippi were still having segregated proms and young students are being harmed every day because of their sexuality.”

Category: Grades 10-12

George C. Bellinger III, Grade 12, West Broward High School

     In his essay, George remembers asking, “’Mom, why do they keep talking about stuff that happened so long ago?” He says, “I asked that question four years ago as we were watching President Obama’s first inauguration and repeated references were made to Dr. King. My question drew a glare from my mother. She immediately called to my two younger brothers, ‘get here now’. My mother was clearly agitated by my question and she explained to us that absolutely nothing that we do today stands on its own. ‘Every achievement, every opportunity, and every broken barrier stands on the shoulders of another person’s sacrifice.’”

The AARLCC is located at 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale; phone (954) 357-2810.


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