By CBS Baltimore StaffSponsored

WJZ continues to celebrate Black History Month with our annual Black History Oratory Competition. The special aired on WJZ-TV for the first time Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

During the special local students gave powerful speeches based on the prompts listed below. Three winners were announced from the 18 finalists.

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Here’s the list of winners:

  • First Place: Nefertiti Griffin, a junior at River Hill High School.
  • Second Place: Teni Adedire, a freshman from Eastern Technical High.
  • Third Place: Taylor Mason, a senior from North Harford High School.

Watch the full speeches from the all the competitors here.

This year’s competition is sponsored by Enoch Pratt Free Library, Morgan State University, Toyota Financial Services, Reginald F. Lewis Museum and WJZ.

You can watch the special below:

WJZ’s Black History Oratory Competition Goes Virtual Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

The first place winner will get $700 from WJZ and a $2,000 scholarship gift from Toyota Financial Services. The second place winner will get $400 from WJZ and $1,000 scholarship gift from Toyota Financial Services and the third place winner will get $200 from WJZ and $500 scholarship gift from Toyota Financial Services.

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Students chose one of these quotes and described what it meant to them in 600 words or less:

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything… that smacks of discrimination or slander.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm

Got questions? Email

READ: WJZ Black History Oratory Competition 2021 Rules


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CBS Baltimore Staff