Dr Martin Luther King Jr Essays

OHIO UNIVERSITY SOUTHERN

2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest Guidelines

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018

BY 5:00PM

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution"
In a speech at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Oct. 15, 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed, “I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.”
At Ohio University Southern, we are inspired by Dr. King and his message above. Our campus’ “I AM…” series provides an opportunity to learn and understand each other. Our stories and experiences are unique and important. By sharing them, we break down barriers that divide us. No matter what labels are assigned to us, and no matter what ideals we may hold, we are all a shared humanity that is, as Dr. King said, “tied to a single garment of destiny.”
WRITE a personal “I Am” essay in which you focus on an aspect of your personality, your cultural heritage, your values, or any aspect of your identity to communicate with others about yourself. Have you ever been stereotyped because you play a musical instrument or a sport? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your gender, race, sexual orientation, or physical abilities? Who are you? Write this essay to help communicate who you are and your unique role in your community.
For full consideration, be sure to follow the guidelines below:

Rules & Guidelines:

1. Entry form must be submitted with the essay.

2. Students may submit only one essay, and it must be the student’s original work.

3. The essay must be typed in Times New Roman font, size 12, double spaced with standard one inch margins,  one side only.

4. The essay must be between 750 and 1000 words (about 3-5 pages).

5. The name, home phone number, parent’s email address, school,grade, and age of student author must be submitted on the entry form,accompanying the essay. Do not place your name or any other identifying information on any other page.

6. All essays are to include references, utilizing at least one book source, but no more than one website source. The sources do not need to be from Dr. King. They can relate to the topic of your essay.

7. Essays may NOT include photographs, images, illustrations, etc.

8. All essays will be judged on the author’s knowledge of the following: Dr. King and his work in the civil rights movement, relevancy to essay theme, originality of ideas and clarity of expression, personal perspective, organization, grammar, and guidelines.

9. All essays submitted become the property of Ohio University Southern and may be displayed on the website, in other university publications, or in locations throughout the community.

10. Children of Ohio University Southern faculty and staff are not eligible.
Prizes
Prizes will be awarded in two categories; grades 6-8 and 9-12. 
Grades 6th – 8thGrades 9th – 12th
            First Place - $100.00                   First Place - $100.00
            Second Place - $50.00                Second Place - $50.00
            Third Place - $25.00                    Third Place - $25.00
1st, 2nd and 3rd place essays will be published on the OUS website. Along with the cash award students will receive a certificate of achievement, an OU t-shirt, and be invited to attend the Annual Ohio University Southern Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration where students will be publicly recognized for their achievement.
Deadline & Submission
To submit a essay by email: 
  1. In the subject area of the email write the title of your essay
  2. Include in the text of your email the following information (This information serves as your ENTRY FORM for email submissions. Entries will not be read without the following):
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Essay Title
  • School Grade & Age
  • Street Address, City, State, Zip Code
  • Telephone Number with area code
  • Parent’s Email Address
  • School Name & Teacher’s Email Address
  1. Attach Speech (do not include your name or any of the above information (except title) on your essay).

Registration Deadline: Friday, January 5, 2018 at 5:00pm.  
A confirmation will be sent to the email address listed on the registration form within three business days.
To submit your speech by postal service:
  1. Print and fill in the registration entry form
  2. Attach the registration form to your speech (do not include your name or entry information on your essay)
  3. Mail registration form and essay to:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest
Mail-in Submissions:
Essays must be received by Friday, January 5, 2018 at 5:00pm.  A confirmation will be sent to the email address listed on the registration form within three business days.
Essays may also be submitted on a walk-in basis.  The essay should be delivered to the Office of Student Services located on the campus of Ohio University Southern in the Collins Building.  The essay should be delivered to the attention of Robert Pleasant. Walk-in essays must be received by Friday, January 5 at 5:00pm.  A confirmation will be sent to the email address listed on the registration form within three business days.
Winners will be by notified by email and telephone.
By accepting a prize, winners grant to Ohio University Southern, the OUS Council on Diversity & Inclusion, the Ohio University MLK Celebration Committee and The Office of Diversity, Access and Equity the right to edit, publish, copy, display and otherwise use their entries in connection with this contest, and to further use their names, likenesses, and biographical information in advertising and promotional materials, without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law.  No responsibility can be assumed for lost or late mail.  Entries will not be returned.
Robert Pleasant, Coordinator of Diversity & Inclusion
Essays will be evaluated by a committee of faculty, staff, and students from Ohio University Southern.  Decisions of the evaluation committee are final. The committee must receive at least five contest entries for each grade range to run the contest.

Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929–1968

American orator and essayist.

The following entry provides an overview of King's career.

King was the leader of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. His nonviolent approach to social reform and political activism, characterized by mass marches and large gatherings designed to demonstrate both the widespread acceptance of the tenets of civil rights and the barbarism of those who opposed them, contrasted with the confrontational methods espoused by Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. King's Letter from Birmingham City Jail (1963) and the 1963 speech in which he declared "I Have a Dream" are considered the written landmarks of the movement. Today they are counted among history's great statements of human rights.

Biographical Information

King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and was raised in a middle-class family. Following the lead of his father and grandfathers, he pursued a theological education. He studied the works of Walter Rauschenbusch, who contended that the church must work to undo social injustices, and those of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who espoused a philosophy of nonviolence. In the fall of 1951 he began his doctoral studies at Boston University and received his Ph. D. in systematic theology in 1955. That same year he rose to prominence in the civil rights movement by organizing a protest in support of Rosa Parks, a black woman who was arrested in Alabama for sitting in a "whites only" section of a public bus. Near the end of 1962 he began working to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama. His leadership produced an agreement with the Justice Department that led to the desegregation of lunch counters, restrooms, fitting rooms, and drinking fountains. In 1963 King helped plan a massive march on Washington, D.C., where an estimated 250,000 people were on hand to hear him present his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize. His campaign for voting rights, concentrated in Selma, Alabama, was met with violence from both police and civilians and resulted in President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law. King continued his social campaigns until April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee.

Major Works

King's written works reflect his heritage in the traditions of the southern black church as well as his knowledge of western philosophy. In Why We Can't Wait (1964), an account of his efforts to desegregate Birmingham, and Where Do We Go from Here? (1967), his response to the Black Power movement, King utilizes the Israelites' exodus from Egypt as a metaphor for the civil rights movement and suggests nonviolent solutions to the problem of social injustice. King further implements biblical theology, along with the philosophies of Gandhi and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, in Stride toward Freedom (1958), a discussion of the events leading up to the Montgomery bus boycott. In his "I Have a Dream" speech, King paints a vision of a "promised land" of justice and racial equality. In the celebrated Letter from Birmingham City Jail, a commentary directed at his critics, King again displays his sermonic style and use of biblical allusions and rhetoric. Reminiscent of St. Paul's writings, the Letter has been described by Stephen Oates as "a classic in protest literature, the most elegant and learned expression of the goals and philosophy of the nonviolent movement ever written." Wesley T. Mott also commends King for harnessing "the profound emotional power of the old Negro sermon for purposes of social action."

Critical Reception

Although often praised for their emotional power and widespread appeal, King's writings have been faulted for relying too heavily on rhetorical flourishes and for not offering concrete solutions to the social, political, and economic problems they address. In a review of Where Do We Go from Here? Andrew Kopkind commented that although King had worthy goals, he had "no real notion of how they are to be attained, or to what they may lead." In addition, nearly twenty-five years after his death, Clay-borne Carson—who had been engaged by King's widow, Coretta Scott King, to compile a collection of her husband's writings—announced that King may have plagiarized parts of his doctoral dissertation and other writings. These disclosures prompted scores of newspaper editorials and other responses arguing that the allegations had no bearing on King's contributions to the civil rights movement. In 1990 a New York Times editorial stated that King's "achievement glows unchallenged through the present shadow, [his] courage was not copied; and there was no plagiarism in his power."

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