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Black History Month Contest

Original Chalk Drawing of Amanda Gorman by Lower School Chair, Thomas Jenkins 2021
Original Chalk Drawing of Amanda Gorman by Lower School Chair, Thomas Jenkins, 2021

Thank you for your submissions and congratulations to our winners!

WATCH ASSEMBLY & VIEW STUDENT SUBMISSIONS


The Waldorf School of Garden City Black Student Union, and Outreach, Activism, and Service Clubs are sponsoring a contest for current  7 -12 Grade students in celebration of Black History Month.

Poster created by Esandi Perera
Poster created by Esandi Perera

Submissions will celebrate Black figures in history through poetry, essays, freewriting, music, and artwork as well as provide an outlet for students to showcase their creativity. All students will receive a certificate and winners will receive prizes in recognition of their work.

The contest will culminate with a presentation from the winners in each category on Friday, February 26th at 2:30 pm. The recorded assembly and gallery of all submissions will be shared with the community.

SUBMISSION GUIDLELINES

Divisions and Categories:

11th & 12th Grade Division

Students may enter as many times in as many categories as they want.

VISUAL ART

  • Create a visual representation of a quote said by Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, or any other Black historical figure of your choosing.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black author to win a Pulitzer prize in 1950 and once said, “One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers.” Create a comic about how newspapers, or media in general, impact us compared to our feline friends. The comic can be humorous, serious, true to life, or fanciful.
  • Design an eye-catching comic book cover for a Black superhero of your choice (LeBron James, Harriet Tubman, etc). What does this character look like and how can the spectator understand the values this character embodies? Include a catchphrase said by this person.

ESSAY WRITING (3 pages max)

  • In Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem, she said, “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always just-ice.” Using this line as a prompt, what else did we learn from this past year full of social and political unrest?
  • Ella Baker was an activist during the Civil Rights Movement, and among her many other accomplishments, she helped create the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), one of the most powerful channels for young Black students to spur the Civil Rights movement. Explore some of the major accomplishments of SNCC before expressing your own thoughts on how young people have impacted our current social movement.

POETRY (3 pages max)

  • James Baldwin, a renowned poet, writer, and activist, once said, “The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.” Write about creating a place in which you or others fit. What materials and mindset are required to make this place exist?
  • Start a creative piece with this line said by James Baldwin, “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”

CREATIVE WRITING

  • This broad category encompasses all creative writing that you find in line with Black History Month: Spoken word poems, lyrics, rap, poetry, written music composition related to these topics. This can include the first James Baldwin prompt in the Poetry category above.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

  • Perform a rendition of a song or piece from a Black composer (Jazz artist, rapper, songwriter, etc). Write a short paragraph explaining who the artist is and what the song means to you or why you chose it. 5 sentences minimum. (1-5 people, multitracking is allowed)

PLEASE REVIEW THE GUIDELINES BEFORE SUBMITTING

9th & 10th Grade Division

Students may enter as many times in as many categories as they want.

VISUAL ART

  • Create a visual representation of a quote said by Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, or any other Black historical figure of your choosing.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black author to win a Pulitzer prize in 1950 and once said, “One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers.” Create a comic about how newspapers, or media in general, impact us compared to our feline friends. The comic can be humorous, serious, true to life, or fanciful.
  • Design an eye-catching comic book cover for a Black superhero of your choice (LeBron James, Harriet Tubman, etc). What does this character look like and how can the spectator understand the values this character embodies? Include a catchphrase said by this person.

ESSAY WRITING (3 pages max)

  • In Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem, she said, “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always just-ice.” Using this line as a prompt, what else did we learn from this past year full of social and political unrest?
  • Ella Baker was an activist during the Civil Rights Movement, and among her many other accomplishments, she helped create the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), one of the most powerful channels for young Black students to spur the Civil Rights movement. Explore some of the major accomplishments of SNCC before expressing your own thoughts on how young people have impacted our current social movement.

POETRY (3 pages max)

  • Maya Angelou, a praiseworthy writer, poet, and civil rights activist, wrote the empowering poem “Still I Rise.” Write a poem that incorporates this line, shaping the phrase as needed to fit your piece.
  • James Baldwin, a renowned poet, writer, and activist, once said, “The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.” Write about creating a place in which you or others fit. What materials and mindset are required to make this place exist?

CREATIVE WRITING

  • This broad category encompasses all creative writing that you find in line with Black History Month: Spoken word poems, lyrics, rap, poetry, written music composition related to these topics. This can include the first James Baldwin prompt in the Poetry category above.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

  • Perform a rendition of a song or piece from a Black composer (Jazz artist, rapper, songwriter, etc). Write a short paragraph explaining who the artist is and what the song means to you or why you chose it. 5 sentences minimum. (1-5 people, multitracking is allowed)

PLEASE REVIEW THE GUIDELINES BEFORE SUBMITTING

7th & 8th Grade Division

Students may enter as many times in as many categories as they want.

VISUAL ART

  • Create a visual representation of a quote said by Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, or any other Black historical figure of your choosing.
  • Before the age of slavery in Africa, its empires held kings, queens, princes, and princesses. Their royal attire consisted of bright patterns, intricate face paint, and beautiful jewelry. Explore Africa’s fashion from this period before creating your own pieces (drawn or sewn) inspired by African kings and queens.
  • Create a Rosa Parks comic strip. It can be historically accurate, or you can set the scene in modern times. How do the other passengers react and what does Rosa do? The comic can be humorous, serious, true to life, or fanciful.

ESSAY WRITING

  • Claudette Colvin was 15 years old when she refused to leave her seat on a bus and was arrested, 9 months before Rosa Parks did the same. Her quote “I just couldn’t move, –history had me glued to my seat” was how she described the experience. Over the past year, as we were part of a major social movement in America, how has history glued you to your seat and how has it impacted your thinking?

POETRY

  • Maya Angelou, a praiseworthy writer, poet, and civil rights activist, wrote the empowering poem “Still I Rise.” Write a poem that incorporates this line, shaping the phrase as needed to fit your piece.
  • Kobe Bryant is a note-worthy Black basketball player who, among countless other achievements, brought the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships in his twenty-year career. He wrote a poem called “Dear Basketball” which he later turned into a short film. Read his poem, before writing your own inspired by his addressing your own passion, emotion, younger self, or anything else of your choosing.
  • James Baldwin, a renowned poet, writer, and activist, once said, “The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.” Write about creating a place in which you or others fit. What materials and mindset are required to make this place exist?

CREATIVE WRITING

  • This broad category encompasses all creative writing that you find in line with Black History Month: Spoken word poems, lyrics, rap, poetry, written music composition related to these topics.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

  • Perform a rendition of a song or piece from a Black composer (Jazz artist, rapper, songwriter, etc). Write a short paragraph explaining who the artist is and what the song means to you or why you chose it. 5 sentences minimum. (1-5 people, multitracking is allowed)

PLEASE REVIEW THE GUIDELINES BEFORE SUBMITTING

All submissions are due by
Date has past.


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