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“Ground Crew” Essay Contest

October 31 @ 11:30 pm - November 1 @ 12:00 am EDT

CONTEST NARRATIVE

For more than half a century, the Civil Rights Movement has been remembered, in large part, by the narratives schools, media, and cultural institutions have promulgated with regards to the Movement’s icons. Dr. King and Rosa Parks often are at the center of those narratives, and for good reason. The struggle to secure the benefits of full citizenship for Black people in the United States, however, covers many more than just a paltry 14 years (1954-1968), and its foot soldiers number in the hundreds of thousands.

In ways both small and grand, everyday men, women and children began fighting for Black civil and human rights on the shores of Africa. They continued the fight on the ships that carried them to this country and, once here (during and after enslavement), they fought under circumstances few of us alive today could possibly imagine. And while so-called leaders always emerged, those elevated to positions of prominence would not have been able to carry out their work, much less sustain themselves, were it not for the determination, support, and guidance from those in their communities and across the nation.

We will never know all the names of the legions of courageous woman men, and children who fought for justice and equality for Black people in this country. We can, however, try to do so.

Now in its second year, The Baton Foundation’s essay contest, Ground Crew: Honoring Unknown Civil Rights Activists, challenges Atlanta youth to research and write about those unknown or lesser-known Black Americans. In years to come, the students’ essays will help us bring to the fore the names and stories of those whose lives were relegated to the margins of history.

ELIGIBILTY & REQUIREMENTS

Eligibility

The Baton Foundation Ground Crew Essay Contest is open to Atlanta students in grades 8-12. This applies equally to students in public schools, private and/or parochial schools, alternative schools and students who receive instruction at home. All entrants must live in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area (specifically, Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Douglas, Gwinnett, Henry, Fayette, & Fulton Counties). Students enrolled in The Baton Foundation’s Cultural Heritage Program and children of Baton Foundation board members may not participate.

Requirements

  • The deadline to submit essays is Monday, October 31, 2022, at 11:59pm EDT (Late entries will not be accepted).
  • Submit essays to Anthony Knight (aknight@thebatonfoundation.org).
  • Typed essays should be a minimum of 700 words, but no more than 1100 words (citations and bibliography are not included in the total word count).
  • Entrants MUST create original work (without influence from or written by teachers, parents, siblings, mentors, etc.)
  • Well-known Civil Rights icons are not eligible subjects for essays (i.e., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Congressman John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ambassador Andrew Young, etc.). If in doubt, please contact us.
  • Essays must identify an unknown or lesser-known Black Civil Rights activist involved in the movement from 1954-1968. The essay must address the person’s life before s/he became socially active, the event(s) that led to the individual’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement, the specific way(s) in which that person’s work impacted her/his community, region, or nation; and how the person might address civil and human rights issues today.
  • Essays about well-known Civil Rights Movement leaders will be disqualified.

Source Materials

  • Essays must list at least 3 source materials.
  • All entrants must cite the source materials they use. Please use parenthetical citations (not footnotes) to reference source material.
  • Bibliographies must be included with each essay. Please use Kate A. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Terms Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

RECOGNITION AND AWARDS

  • The first-place winner will receive a $300 cash award and a signed copy of Rolundus R. Rice’s book, Hosea Williams: A Lifetime of Defiance and Protest (The University of South Carolina Press, 2021).
  • The second-place winner will receive a $200 cash award and a signed copy of Rolundus R. Rice’s book, Hosea Williams: A Lifetime of Defiance and Protest (The University of South Carolina Press, 2021).
  • The third-place winner will receive a $100 cash award and a signed copy of Rolundus R. Rice’s book, Hosea Williams: A Lifetime of Defiance and Protest (The University of South Carolina Press, 2021).
  • First-, second-, and third-place winners will be notified by November 21, 2022.
  • All winning essayists will participate in a virtual public awards ceremony with Professor Rice and Baton Foundation president Anthony Knight on Sunday, December 4, 2022.

We respectfully ask that you not call The Baton Foundation for information regarding the status of your essay. Thank you.

Details

Start:
October 31 @ 11:30 pm EDT
End:
November 1 @ 12:00 am EDT
Event Category:

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