New York City Urban Debate League

Winners Announced!

2023 Black History Speech Contest Winners


And the 2023 Winners are…

High School Oratory:
1st Place: Aubrey Piton, Personal reflection on Black identity in America

Middle School Oratory:
1st Place: Samantha De La Cruz: Samantha’s thoughts on Dr. King’s dream and the long road still ahead of us until it’s realized.
2nd Place: Alexa Baez: Original piece entitled “Judge Not”
3rd Place: Maya Drysdale: Original poem entitled “As I Watch and Listen.”

1st Place: Minkah Marmelejos, “I’m Black, I’m Proud” by Emmanuel Damilola Adeyemo & “The Skin I’m In” by Jakiera Herron
2nd Place: Reema Ghadry, “Still I Rise” & “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou
3rd Place: Sasha Davis, “I am a Young Rose” and “Infinite Hope” by Tyrese Cheeseboro

Watch Excerpts from the Winning Speeches

Huge congratulations to all who participated in the Second Annual NYCUDL Black History Month Speech Contest, and thank you to everyone who voted! We truly heard so many wonderful speeches–both original pieces and powerful renditions of the work of incredible Black poets and authors. Thank you for taking your time and sharing your incredible thoughts and talent.

Watch All the Finalist’s Speeches






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