Celebrate Black History and the chance to win $100!
EPB is inviting students in grades 1–12 to compete in our 16th annual Black History Month Poetry Contest. Winning students and teachers will receive $100 and be invited to attend the EPB Black History Month Awards Banquet. Deadline for entry is February 7, 2020.
How to Participate
This year we’re asking students to focus their poem on an event in Black History as if they were a person who lived during the event or as a first-hand participant.
Students choose from one of the 10 events below and write a poem about what it was like to live during that time or even participate in the event.
African American historical events:
- How did you feel when you read that Bessie Smith had become a world-renowned blues singer after you saw her perform on the streets of Chattanooga in the early 1900’s?
- What do you think it was like to live in the African American refuge of Chattanooga’s “Camp Contraband” (now Renaissance Park) in the aftermath of the Civil War?
- What do you think it was like to participate in Nat Turner’s Revolt in 1831?
- What was the first day of school like after desegregation (1954–1969)?
- What was daily life like in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s?
- How did it feel to see Simone Biles win four gold medals in women’s gymnastics during the 2016 Olympics?
- Describe your experience on the bus with Rosa Parks when she made her famous political statement in 1955?
- How did you help Barack Obama prepare for his historical inauguration speech as the first African American President of the United States?
- What was it like to participate in the March on Washington in 1963?
- How did it feel to hear about the Tuskegee Airmen claiming 112 aerial victories during World War II?
Who Can Enter
All Hamilton County students in grades 1–12 (public, private and homeschool). Entries will be divided into four categories based on age groups:
- Grades 1–3 (may submit a poem and/or drawing)
- Grades 4–5
- Grades 6–8
- Grades 9–12
How to Enter
Starting on January 6, 2020, write and submit a poem with a brief introduction explaining the subject of the poem, as well as why you chose that person, event, and year. Students in grades 1–3 may submit a drawing and/or poem.
Email entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail entries to:
P.O. Box 182255
Chattanooga, TN 37422-7255
With each entry, please include the following:
- Cover Sheet
- For grades 1–3: A drawing may be included in addition to or instead of a poem
Deadline for entries is February 7, 2020
Entries should be received at EPB no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on February 7, 2020. Winners will be notified by phone and email.
What You Can Win
Winning students and their teacher will receive $100 each. They will also be invited to attend the EPB Black History Month Awards Banquet on March 12, 2020. Parents and teachers of winning students are welcome to attend the banquet as well.
- Contest is open to all Hamilton County students in grades 1–12 (public, private and homeschool).
- Students may enter by submitting a written introduction and poem. Grades 1–3 may enter by submitting a drawing and/or a poem.
- Written entries must have no more than 1,500 words.
- All entries will be judged by a panel of local leaders and EPB employees.
- Eight students will be recognized, including two winners in each age group for written entries and two winners for drawing entries (Grades 1–3)
- Winners and their teachers will receive $100 each.
- Each winning student, along with his or her teacher and parents, will be invited to attend the EPB Black History Month Awards Banquet on March 12, 2020.
- Contest begins on January 6, 2020.