student-college_web.jpgBROWARD – Students, dust off your keyboard and sharpen your pencils and enter your mad writing skills in an essay competition celebrating Black History Month.

Students who live in or go to school in Broward County from grades 4-12 are invited to submit an original essay and/or a visual artwork to the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC). The competition will be divided into three categories: grades 4-6, grades 7-9, and grades 10-12. Contest winners will be awarded prizes in February, sponsored by Best Buy in collaboration with the Friends of the African-American Research
Library and Cultural Center.
This year’s theme is “What Do Civil Rights in America Today Mean to You?” In general, civil rights means that people have the right to be treated the same, including due process of law, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination. Student essays or artwork should consider the ongoing impact that the civil rights era has on the lives of Americans today. Their answers may include consideration of the following:
The history of civil rights in America reveals that even when people had rights on paper, those rights often had to be fought for to be used.  Sometimes the struggle was simply to communicate the need for those rights to be enforced, and sometimes action was required — whether in a court of law or through political efforts.
Compare what Americans were fighting for at the time of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and what rights Americans are fighting for today.  What do you consider your civil rights to be? What prevents you from fully exercising all of your civil rights in today’s society? What action might be necessary in order to use your rights? Will your rights still be available if no one fights for them? How do you change laws or customs which prevent you from exercising civil rights? Is every person provided the same civil rights, protection, and equality under the law, regardless of when or where they live?
The competition’s official entry form will be available at all branches of the Broward County Library. The form provides details on the essay’s length and artwork requirements. The entries must be delivered by 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31. to the African-American Research Library and
Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.
Prizes will be awarded in person on or after Feb. 8, to one essay winner and one artwork winner in each of the three grade categories. Refreshments will be provided.
For other information call Youth Services at 954-357-6209.