Students honor African American heroes with annual essay contest

SUMTER CO. Ala. (WTOK) - "The mind is a terrible thing to waste." That was the theme of this year’s Annual Essay/Oratorical contest for Black History Month in Sumter County.

The program is sponsored by the Sumter County Alumni Association, and was held this year at Kinterbish Junior High School.

“All of these students have prepared. I am so grateful and thankful to the Sumter County Alumni Association, to the superintendent of schools, to our judges, to the parents, and most importantly to the kids, the youngsters who have prepared for today in order to win and be victorious in doing what they’re doing, and that is speaking on their favorite heroes and 'she-roes',” said alumni association president, Marcus Campbell.

Students from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade competed in different age group categories for the contest.

Campbell say it’s so important that students don’t forget about their history and the people who laid the path for this generation.

“Sojourner Truth, to Harriet Tubman, to Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali. All of those great warriors who taught us that we can be the best that we can be. And pull deep inside to win and be victorious over whatever obstacles that were in their paths,” Campbell said.

Younger students even entertained the crowd with some iconic hits from black artists, like Stevie Wonder.

The event is not only a recognition of black leaders, past and present, but a reminder that Black history is American history.