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Oratorical Speech Contest: A Celebration Of MLK

April 14 @ 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.


2017 Theme: “The Crisis In Black Education”

The theme for 2017 focused on the crucial role of education in the history of African Americans. ASALH’s founder Carter G. Woodson once wrote that “if you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race.”

Woodson understood well the implications associated with the denial of access to knowledge, and he called attention to the crisis that resulted from persistently imposed racial barriers to equal education. The crisis in black education first began in the days of slavery when it was unlawful for slaves to learn to read and write. In pre-Civil War northern cities, free blacks were forced as children to walk long distances past white schools on their way to the one school relegated solely to them. Whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America from the late nineteenth century well into our own time.

Throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century and continuing today, the crisis in black education has grown significantly in urban neighborhoods where public schools lack resources, endure overcrowding, exhibit a racial achievement gap, and confront policies that fail to deliver substantive opportunities. The touted benefits of education remain elusive to many blacks of all ages. Tragically, some poorly performing schools serve as pipelines to prison for youths.

Yet, African American history is rich in centuries-old efforts of resistance to this crisis: the slaves’ surreptitious endeavors to learn; the rise of black colleges and universities after the Civil War; unrelenting battles in the courts; the black history movement; the freedom schools of the 1960s; and local community-based academic and mentorship programs that inspire a love of learning and thirst for achievement. Addressing the crisis in black education should be considered one of the most important goals in America’s past, present, and future. (Association for the Study of African American Life and History)

The oratorical speech contest will be held Sunday, April 14th, 2018 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                            $100                            $100

Second Prize              $50                             $50                              $50

Third Prize                $25                              $25                                $25

Contest Workshop

An Oration Contest Workshop will be held Saturday, March 23rd 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 23rd. Please mail this application or bring with you to the contest workshop. For the application package, click here: Coming soon!

Application can be mailed to: 2017 Oratorical Speech Contest; c/o First African Baptist Church; P.O. Box 311; Dublin, GA 31040 or delivered to: First African Baptist Church ~ Family Life Center ~

For more information, please call 478-272-0354, 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 14
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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