Black History Month Essay Contest and Ceremony

February 9, 2015

Mt. San Jacinto College Announces: Eleventh Annual Black History Month Essay Contest & Ceremony
Sponsored by the Human Relations Council of the Greater Hemet, San Jacinto and Menifee Region

BlackHistoryMoEssayContestAwardsCeremonySP15.pngAwards Ceremony
February 27, 2015, 6:00 pm
San Jacinto Campus Library
1499 N. State St., 92583

Contest is open to all middle school, high school and college students in the San Jacinto Valley and the Menifee Valley.

Essay Topic and Format:

Celebrating Black History in the United States began in 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard Ph.D., initiated "Negro History Week." Dr. Woodson, a historian, chose the second week in February because it included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the Bicentennial (200th birthday) of the U.S.A., the week‐long observance was extended to the entire month of February in order to have enough time for celebratory programs and activities.

As the United States celebrates National Black History Month in February, your task is to pick a person of color who illustrates the triumph of the human spirit over circumstances and prejudice in order to build a life of accomplishment.

Write your essay as an Historical Fiction:
Imagine yourself living at the time of your chosen person and being acquainted with him/her. You might be his/her child, parent, friend, boss or even an adversary. Write about him/her from your unique point of view.

Make sure that your essay includes the answers to the following questions:
1.Who is the person about whom you want to write?
2.When did he/she live?
3.What did your chosen person do to “triumph over circumstances and prejudice to build a life of accomplishment”?

Contest Rules:

The length of the essay (essays too short or too long will be eliminated from judging):
Middle School (grades 6 through 8) 300 to 500 words
High School (grades 9 through 12) 500 to 1000 words
College (Undergraduate only) 1000 to 2000 words

Home‐schooled and Charter School students are also encouraged to enter – please call 951‐634-4048 for entry details.

The deadline for submission of the essay is 5:00 PM on Friday, February 13, 2015. Please submit by email to Attach your essay to your email. If it is not possible to submit by email, please call Mary Morse at 951-634-4048 for an alternate submission method.

Contest Prizes:

All entering students will be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony on Friday, February 27, 2015, to be held at 6:00 PM, at the Mt. San Jacinto College, San Jacinto Campus Library building. Every student who writes an essay will receive a Certificate of Participation which they will receive the night of the event or we will send it to them. Winning students only will be asked to present their essays at the event. Teachers, counselors, administrators and families are invited to attend. (RSVP to Mary at (951) 634-4048.)

High School:
1 Best High School essay $150
1 Runner‐up High School essay $75
3 Honorable Mentions $25 each
1 Best Presentation $100

Middle School:
1 Best Middle School essay $150
1 Runner‐up Middle School essay $75
3 Honorable Mentions $25 each
1 Best Presentation $100

1 Best College essay $150
1 Runner‐up College essay $75
3 Honorable Mentions $25 each
1 Best Presentation $100

Donors/sponsors are welcome to help pay for contest prizes.


For more information contact Mary Morse at 951-634-4048.