The Alleyne School is the Winner of U.S. Embassy’s Inaugural Black History Month Secondary School Speech Competition

From left to right- Assistant Regional Security Officer, Matt Spaulding, Deputy Section Head Political/Economic Section, Steve Simpson, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Gaina Davila, winning student of the Alleyne School, Shamera King-Charles, Political Officer, Julie Limoges, and Deputy Consul Genera

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown is pleased to announce that the winner of its inaugural Black History Month Secondary School Speech Competition is the Alleyne School. Fourth-form student Shamera King-Charles brought it home for her school, as she spoke about the value in continuing to observe the achievements of various ethnic groups in prescribed months.

Second place went to Deighton Griffith Secondary School. Fifth-former Akil McGeary argued to what extent secondary school students should be able to express their cultural identity in school. Christ Church Foundation School placed third. Fourth former Kyiah Clarke-Carrington assessed whether hip-hop and rap music negatively influence today’s youth.

Judged by a panel compromising U.S. Embassy officials, the competitors, who also included students from Springer Memorial, St. Michael, Ellerslie, and Harrison College, debated on various themes focused on Black History Month.  They all used the forum as a platform to share their perspectives and solutions.

Public Affairs Officer James Rodriguez commented, “The U.S. Embassy hosted the event in honor of Black History Month. Speech and debate make up a vital part of America’s cultural fabric. The impressive legacy of powerful black orators in the United States goes back to the founding of that nation and ranges from abolitionists, escaped slaves, to the leader of the free world. These men and women have had a profound effect in the shaping of the United States. As such, the U.S. Embassy is proud to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions made by people of African descent through this competition.”

The contest supported the U.S. Embassy’s goal of promoting education as a driver of sustainable economic growth, and as a means to foster innovation and empower youth.

Winning school, Alleyne received the top prize of an HP desktop computer, and widescreen monitor. The top three students and supervising teachers received an impressive prize package including a trophy, electronic tablets, Bluetooth speakers, selected books on public speaking, and great speeches in American and World History. All participating students received gift bags with U.S. Embassy-branded items. The overall prize packages are valued at more than USD$1,800.

Click here to view our Flickr gallery for photos from the competition.