Houston Forward Times

From L to R: Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition first place winner Amari Venzor, second place winner Byron Roberson and third place winner Chrystyna Haywood receive plaques from Event Chair and Gardere Trial Partner Claude Treece (back row). From L to R: Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition first place winner Amari Venzor, second place winner Byron Roberson and third place winner Chrystyna Haywood receive plaques from Event Chair and Gardere Trial Partner Claude Treece (back row).
05 February 2014 Written by  Forward Times Staff

18th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

12 fourth- and fifth-grade HISD students took center stage In celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, the competition is designed to highlight the cultural diversity of the community while recognizing and encouraging the writing and public speaking skills of elementary school students. Students will present original speeches answering the question:

"If Dr. King were speaking at a March on Washington today, what would he say?"

Excerpt from Amari Venzor’s Speech

In today’s economy, the education system is failing and more and more, kids are dropping out instead of trying to hang in. Some states spend more money to imprison their citizens than to send them to college. I find it interesting that the richest nation on earth hasn’t given enough money to build schools and pay teachers what they are worth. In the current educational system, the most effective educator is the one who recognizes the different learning styles of each student and compassionate enough to consider them when conducting their daily instruction. An educator is a calling…..not a backup plan. If teaching is your plan "B" you cannot expect to turn out "A" students.

Excerpt from Byron Roberson’s Speech

On August 28, 1963 we marched for miniorities to have access to all public accomodations, elimination of racial segregation in public schools, dignified jobs, national minimum wage act and equal rights for all. It was very difficult, but we took the first step even when we didn’t see the whole staircase. We marched together, prayed together, cried together and struggled together for you, you and you!

So I am thanking today that 50 years later, we have come……..From outhouse to the white house.

We’ve come…..from sit-ins to sitting in fine restaurants. From segregation to an equal education, From injustice to justice, Thank God! We’s come…..From not having enough to having more than enough

Excerpt from Chrystyna Haywood’s Speech

To my black princesses, stop inspiring to be video vixens – learning to twerk…get a job and work. Instead of being 16 giving birth to a baby, you be the doctor and deliver the baby.

To the younger generation, stop aspiring to be reappers, so hip hop and down – be college bound. If Dr. King were here today he would say dream – dream big! There is no dream too small or too big because God says, If I am for you – who can be against you?