Kids compete in history championship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 19, 2004

The library at Selma Middle CHAT Academy was packed Wednesday afternoon for the first annual &uot;Black History Quiz Bowl&uot; held at the magnet school for seventh and eight graders. The event is part of the school’s month-long celebration of black heritage.

Labarron Mack who teaches theatre at the school was the organizer and emcee of the event that involved 17 students of 22 who had volunteered to compete. Additionally four or five classes joined in as observers.

The winners of the event &045; the last three left standing &045; were: Nathaniel Gales (first place); Lathan Simpson (second); and Tracey McMeans (third).

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The rules were simple: Mack asked students one by one to answer a question related to black history. The first three had to do with a slave revolt, the founding of a major national civil right organization and the release of a rap recording. In each case four possible answers were given. If the student answered correctly he or she remained in the circle. If not, the student had to sit on the floor with the observers. By process of elimination the final three were determined.

After a welcome by Assistant Principal Bruce Dozier, Mack reminded the students of the importance of Selma to the national voting rights movement, and the role of what took place here in bringing about the passage of the historic Voting Rights Bill in August 1965. He also pointed out the importance of youth involvement in that struggle, and expressed the hope that this memory would serve as inspiration for today’s generation.

Also emphasized was the real goal of the event &045; not just to have winners but to emphasize the importance of black history and to encourage the students to find the answers to the questions that they missed.

Symbolizing the fact that there would be no losers was a table full of brightly decorated bags that went to all participants.

The theme at CHAT for the month is &uot;The Black Journey: An Exhilarating Experience.&uot;

The Wednesday event was one of many scheduled for this week, including &uot;Soul Food Buffet&uot; on Monday; &uot;’70s Day&uot; on Tuesday; &uot;Historically Black College T-shirt Day&uot; and the Quiz Bowl on Wednesday; &uot;Greek Day&uot; on Thursday; and &uot;Black History Program&uot; on Friday.

The Black History Month will end at CHAT with a Black History Program on Feb. 27 at 9:30 a.m.