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

In an apparent olive branch to Barbados, the U.S. Embassy Bridgetown disclosed the winner of their inaugural Black History Month Secondary School Speech Competition is the Alleyne School.

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.

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 General, Stephen Kovacsics

Readers would recall only recently the same Embassy questioned Barbados’ potable water supply in light of the South Coast Sewerage Crisis. This was met with an initial vehement refutation by Foreign Affairs Minister Sen. Maxine McClean with Health Minister John Boyce present for moral support.

There was a subsequent reaffirmation of Barbadian water’s potability by Water Resources Minister Dr David Estwick at a recent press conference in Graeme Hall. Many Bajans felt he should be in the vanguard to dispute the American Embassy’s assertion of bacteria in the water supply and to do so far more quickly than how he finally came forward with Parliament set to dissolve for a new mandate by Monday 5th March – just days away.

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