Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the City of Bloomington. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.

The City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee is seeking submissions from area students for the 2021 Black History Month Essay Contest. Students from the elementary grades through high school are encouraged to submit original essays on the theme “The Show Goes On” as it pertains to Black history. 

The City of Bloomington and the Indiana University Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center are commemorating National Black History Month 2021 with the theme “The Show Goes On.” The month’s events will speak to the role of the arts in the resilience of the Black community; highlighting the way Black stories of the journey to freedom, civil rights, and equity have been represented in music from gospel to blues to rap, as well as other art forms from dance to literature to the visual arts. 

Essays must be submitted by midnight on Monday, February 8, via the Black History Month website at bloomington.in.gov/bhm, where additional information about essay questions, subjects and prompt questions, and a list of last year’s essay contest winners are posted.

First, second, and third place essay prizes will be awarded in each of three categories: elementary (grades 4-6), middle (grades 7-8) and high school (grades 9-12). Home-schooled students are eligible to participate as well. First place essay winners will receive iPads, second place winners will each receive a $100 cash award, and third place winners will receive a $75 cash award.  

Winners will be honored via video presentation on February 18as part of the City’s Black History Month celebration. 

“I encourage all of our students to use this opportunity to reflect on Black history and the place of Black culture in our collective experience,” says Mayor John Hamilton.  “As we come together to celebrate the perseverance of Black people, we reiterate our commitment to greater equity and justice in Bloomington and beyond.”