American Psychiatric Association Foundation Archives - Athletes for Hope

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Black History Month Essay Contest

Black History Month Essay Contest

AFH Announces First Wave Of Essay Winners

As Athletes for Hope (AFH) spent February celebrating the contributions and positive impacts of African American trailblazers, we partnered with our AFH University Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) athletic departments, asking high schoolers in their communities to share a story of an African American that has been an inspiration to them.

The outpouring of submissions from students was incredible. We are honored to share with you the stories of the winners of our AFH Black History Month Essay Contest from Bowie State- Prince George County.

Thank you to the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF), the official supporter of the AFH Black History Month Essay Contest at Bowie State, for making this possible.

Contest Winners

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the AFH Black History Month Essay Contest in the Bowie State community are Aisha, Brianna, Jayda, and Salman.

On February 18, the winners from Prince George County were invited to the Bowie State vs. Lincoln (PA) basketball game where they met AFH University Campus Liasion, Kevona Jones, and two members of APAF. During the game, the winners were recognized for their contributions and were shown on the big screen for all to see.

Black History Month Contest Essays


Black History Month Essay Topic: Jackie Robinson

Aisha’s essay was a powerful story on how MLB Legend and social justice activist Jackie Robinson fought to change the way the media viewed and represented African Americans.

But the most important thing that he did was more than the sum of his parts. It was more than a single occasion or a big change that he made in the world. The most important thing that Jackie Robinson did, beyond being himself, was fight sanitization of black legacies. 


To read Aisha’s Black History Month essay, click here.


Black History Month Essay Topic: Harriet Tubman

Brianna’s essay was a beautiful tribute to the life and legacy of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. After her escape out of slavery, Harriet made 13 missions to Maryland where she freed over 70 African Americans.

Her unwavering determination, courage, and commitment to justice and equality have inspired me to be a better person and work for a more just and equitable world.


To read Brianna’s Black History Month essay, click here.


Black History Month Essay Topic: Frances Ellen Watkins Parker 

Jayda’s essay emphasized using your written words as power. Born free in Baltimore, Maryland, Francis Ellen Watkins Parker was a well-known abolitionist voice and published author in anti-slave journals.

If not for Parker’s bravery, I might not have been able to publish a story myself, and becoming an author at such a young age is what shaped me into the young woman I am today who still holds a passion for writing. 


To read Jayda’s essay, click here.


Black History Month Essay Topic: Frederick Douglass

Salman’s essay was a historical depiction of the life of the activist, author, public speaker, and leader of the abolitionist movement, Frederick Douglass.

[He] is very significant in history as well as an inspiration for all those past slaves who had been free through his activism towards slavery as well as being dedicated to abolishing it.

Salman Iqbal

To read Salman’s essay, please click here.