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McEachin announces winners of Black History Month Essay Contest

donald mceachinCongressman A. Donald McEachin, D-Va., has announced the winners of his first Black History Month Essay Contest.

McEachin selected the essays of Great Bridge High School senior Jy’Mir Starks and St. Joseph Catholic School sixth grader Trenton Townes. The winning essays have been entered into the official Congressional Record and will be presented to the students.

“Selecting only one high school and middle school winner from the essays submitted was difficult,” said McEachin. “It was clear to me that each student who wrote to my office put a lot of thought and care into crafting these deeply moving essays. I am so inspired by the powerful themes – especially the theme of progress – that these students explored when writing about what Black History Month means to them.”

Dr. Aashir Nasim, Virginia Commonwealth University Vice President of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success, assisted in reading through the more than 50 essays submitted by students.

“It’s clear from these essays that today’s children have a deep and profound understand of black history. But, perhaps most importantly, these children seem to understand that it’s their inherent responsibility to affirm and authenticate this history through their future successes,” said Dr. Nasim. “In this way, black history will continue to define what will eventually become American history, as well as world history,”

Students Jy’Mir Starks and Trenton Townes expressed appreciation for the opportunity to write about what Black History Month means to them.

“I wanted to try something new and our history is important,” said Trenton Townes. “Black History Month is a time where we should be able to come together as a people and uplift one another and celebrate the many achievements of our past and the hope and realization of a rich future.”

“Writing an essay that appreciates Black American culture and history is something I thoroughly enjoyed because it allows for others to be educated about the unique role that Black people have played in the building of America as a whole,” said Jy’Mir Starks.

Full text of the winning essays can be found here.