New York City Urban Debate League

3rd Annual Black History Month Speech Contest


To participate in this contest, you must submit a video in one of the following formats:

  1. Declamation.  Submit a 3-5 minute video of you performing a speech, dramatic monologue, or collection of poetry by a black author, activist, politician, influencer, etc. Excerpts are welcomed and the more creative the better! 


  1. Original Oratory. Submit a 3-5 minute original speech about Black History Month. This could include topics like significant historical events and people, what black history month means to you, a speech about issues pertaining to current events, etc. 


Contest Time Frame

January 15, 2023- February 14, 2023 

Finalists will be posted on social media for a public vote.

The voting window will be from February 19th-23rd. 

Winners announced March 2nd.

Please submit your videos to



In order to enter the contest, your school must be a member of the NYCUDL Open League, participate in debate through District 7, 9, 15, or 16, participate in debate through the Middle School Quality Initiative, or be a Debate Club participant.



There will be two divisions: Declamation and Original Oratory. 

Divisions will be subdivided by age group dependent on the age of students submitting, and each will have three winners.

1st Place: $50

2nd Place: $25

3rd Place: $10


Judging Criteria 

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria 

  • Quality of written or chosen content 
  • Articulation 
  • Overall presentation

Submission Guidelines:

  • Participants must submit their videos to AND complete this form by February 14th. 
    • Videos can be submitted by:
      • Form
      • Unlisted link through Youtube 
      • Google drive with permissions enabled 
  • Make sure your camera is well positioned (and horizontal—if recording on phone)
  • Make sure that there is no background noise
  • Make sure that there is sufficient lighting
  • Replay the video to check for sound 

** Any questions about video submissions can be directed to


🌞Need some inspiration?

    Take a look at the videos submitted by last year’s finalists!

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