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Oratorical Speech Contest: A Celebration Of MLK

April 19, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join in an Oratorical Speech Contest, a Celebration of the Speech-Making Tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  at the historic First African Baptist Church in Dublin, GA where, on April 17, 1944, a young Martin Luther King, Jr., presented his first public speech.


2020 Theme: “African Americans And The Vote”

This year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War.
The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and women for the right to vote. This theme has a long history, which begins at the turn of the nineteenth century, i.e., in the era of the Early Republic, with the states’ passage of laws that:

  • Democratized the vote for free white men while disenfranchising free black men
  • Even before the Civil War, black men petitioned their legislatures and US Congress, seeking to
    be recognized as voters
  • Tensions between abolitionists and women’s suffragists first surfaced in the aftermath of the Civil
  • While black disfranchisement laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
    undermined the guarantees in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments for the great majority of southern blacks until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The important contribution of black suffragists occurred not only within the larger women’s movement, but within:

  • The larger black voting rights movement
  • Through voting-rights campaigns
  • Legal suits from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made
    their voices heard as to the importance of the vote.
  • Indeed, the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today. The theme African Americans and the Vote should also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties. (Association for the Study of African American Life and History)

The oratorical speech contest will be held Sunday, April 19th, 2020 at 4:00 PM in First African Baptist Church located at 405 Telfair Street in Downtown Dublin, Georgia. Admission to view the contest is free and open to the public.

This contest is open to children in grade 6 or higher and adults. There is no entry fee to participate in the contest.

Contestant Categories & Prizes 

Categories            Middle School     High School                      Post High School

Grades in School       6th-8th                  9th-12th                      HS Grad -College

First Prize                 $100                           $150                            $200

Second Prize            $75                            $100                             $150

Third Prize                $50                            $75                                $100

Fourth Prize.            $25                             $25                               $25

Participation            $10                             $10                               $10

Contest Workshop

An Oration Contest Round-Up Rally Workshop will be held Saturday, March 28th from 12:30 PM-2 PM at First African Baptist Church. Register or turn in your contest applications and get pointers on how to give an award-winning speech. Please plan to attend. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Applications & Info

Applications are due no later than Saturday, March 28th. Please mail this application or bring with you to the contest workshop. For the application package, click here: 2020 – Final Oratorical Contestant’s Package

Application can be mailed to: 2019 Oratorical Speech Contest; c/o 1105 Edgewood Drive.; Dublin, GA 31021 or delivered to: First African Baptist Church ~ Family Life Center ~

For more information, please call 478-275-0967, 478-697-6817 or 478-272-4002.

To learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and First African Baptist Church, please visit http://firstafricanbaptistdublinga.com


April 19, 2020
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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First African Baptist Church
405 Telfair Street
Dublin, GA 31021 United States
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