oratory 2017 2017 WJZ Black History Oratory Competition

As part of WJZ’s Community Commitment, the 24th Annual Black History Oratory Competition was held Sunday, February 26 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

Twenty high school semi-finalists presented their memorized orations based on inspiration quotes from Harriet Tubman, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Carla Hayden.

Calvert Hall College High School Senior Jeremiah Pearl won this year’s oratory contest, which was emceed by Meteorologist Tim Williams.

The quotes were:

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” –Harriett Tubman

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Libraries are the cornerstone of democracy- where information is free and equally available to everyone. People tend to take that for granted, and they don’t realize what is at stake when that is put at risk.” – Dr. Carla Hayden

Jeremiah took the top honor by writing about the Harriet Tubman quote.

Congratulations, also, to the semi-finalists:

Jaden Thornton, Franklin High School
Alice Russell, Catonsville High School
Theodore Wimberly, Jr., Mt. St. Joseph High School
Mackenzie Sanner, South River High School
Damian Stifter, Loyola Blakesfield
Reyna Vrbenski, South River High School
Shara Miller, Catonsville High School
Victoria Amah, Seton Keough High School
Timothy Huynh, Catonsville High School
Victoria Able, City Neighbors High School
Olivia Bailey, Chesapeake High School
Madeline Cloyd, South River High School
Thi Aye, Catonsville High School
Abigail Leek, Southern High School
Aubrie Zepp, Catonsville High School
Autumn Jenkins, Maryvale Preparatory School
Peniel Beyene, Catonsville High School
Luke Jackson, Catonsville High School
Ahmad Jeremiah Pearl, Calvert Hall College High School
Eleanor Johnson, Catonsville High School

The top three winners receive cash prizes and scholarship gift cards.

Sponsors of the 2017 WJZ Black History Oratory Competition are Toyota Financial Services, Morgan State University, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.