Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise Contest
Winners of the 2017 Maya Angelou essay contest
First Prize: Lauren Moore, Guyer High School, Denton ISD. Sponsoring teacher: Shanna Stovall | Read Essay
Second Prize: Lainey Whittle, Sulphur Springs High School, Sulphur Springs ISD. Sponsoring teacher: Gail Herman | Read Essay
Third Prize: Omotoyosi Ayanwola, Alcuin School. Sponsoring teacher: Dr. Noah Mass | Read Essay
Honorable Mention: Skye Liane Coronel, Lassiter Early College High School, Dallas ISD. Sponsoring teacher: Jennifer Trujillo
Honorable Mention: Lydia Burleson, Sulphur Springs High School, Sulphur Springs ISD. Sponsoring teacher: Gail Herman
Honorable Mention: Breana Wooten, Sulphur Springs High School, Sulphur Springs ISD. Sponsoring teacher: Gail Herman
Honorable Mention: Sharon Zhang, Hockaday School. Sponsoring teacher: Dr. Claire Cothren
Honorable Mention: Rebecca Lado, Lassiter Early College High School, Dallas ISD. Sponsoring teacher: Jennifer Trujillo
On February 21, KERA broadcasted Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, a documentary about a remarkable American writer who also made notable contributions to the performing arts and civil rights activism. From a hardscrabble childhood in the Depression-era South she rose to become the poet celebrated for her stirring reading of “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Her poetry, essays and memoirs won many accolades, including the 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community from the National Book Foundation. In writing about her own experiences, she opened eyes to the experiences of African Americans and provided an important window on 20th-century American social history.
Learn more about the American Masters Pictures documentary.
KERA invites teachers to mark the contributions of this influential American. To go with the documentary, we have prepared a toolkit of educational materials related to Angelou’s life and work, and we are sponsoring an essay contest for high school students.
The toolkit provides materials for teachers and parents to expose students to Maya Angelou’s vibrant life and many contributions. The resources include biographical materials, video clips of Angelou performing and talking about her life, the text of several poems, lesson plans, still photos and much more.
The contest invites high school students to write an essay interpreting an Angelou poem and describing how it contributes to the understanding of race in the U.S. and the African American experience. The essays should include a thoughtful proposal for improving race relations based on what the student learned from reading the poem. The top three winners will receive prizes of $150, $100, and $50. Teachers and other educators will serve as judges.