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MLK Recitation Competition

On Monday, January 21, Asheville School and BeLoved Asheville will host a recitation competition in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The competition will be held at the YMI Cultural Center of Asheville from 7–8 p.m. Students in grades 6 through 12 are invited to reenact a Reverend Dr. King speech from a list of eligible works provided by the competition. The competition was organized by three Asheville School students: seniors Major Eason and Justin Merriwether and sophomore Griffin Girvan-Morris. Ben Williamson, director of service at Asheville School, suggested the idea to the students and is acting as faculty sponsor for the event, which will offer $500 worth of prizes to winners in the middle school and high school categories. “Dr. King’s teachings and messages are as important and relevant today as they were in the 50s and 60s,” Williamson says. “The passages in this competition speak to segregation, voting, civil rights and Constitutional rights. He’s talking about education, income inequality, war and justice. Each of these areas dominate our current headlines, just as they did then.”

The competition is open to any student who wishes to enter, but the hope is that teachers will hold class-wide recitations in the weeks leading up to the event. The famous “I Have a Dream” speech is not included on the list of eligible recitation works, as the aim of the competitions is to teach a wide audience about a broad range of the Reverend Dr. King’s works. “We would love for students to know more about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work by the time they start studying the Civil Rights Movement in middle school and high school,” said Girvan-Morris.

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