African American History Month

Essay Competition


Honoree Ephraim Benton


Overview Of The Event

DBNA’s Invictus Youth Initiative held its annual African American History Month Contest on February 28, 2014 at 10am at DBNA’s offices, located in The House of the Lord Church. We received approximately 300 essays/compositions for elementary, middle, and high school students in the borough of Brooklyn and had 125 students in attendance at the actual awards ceremony. Acting as our Master of Ceremonies, Lorenzo D. Chambers, director of the Invictus Youth Initiative, kept the students engaged and inspired throughout the program. We began our program with the pouring of libations by Gerald King.  The students shouted out the names of those they wished to remember.  The names of  “Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X” rang out!!! We were also inspired by our guest speaker, Dr. Lester Young, New York State Regent at Large, as well as actor/author, Ephraim Benton.  A spoken word presentation was made by Charmaine Paige and the Black National Anthem was led by songstress Britani. As our contest winners read their winning essays, the elders in the room smiled proudly.  Here was proof that  history is being passed on the younger generations!!! Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry challenged the students to “Name it, Claim it, and Frame it” Through out the program, tickets to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus at Barclays center were given out to the lucky winners whose names were pulled from the DBNA drum. Each student in attendance received a commemorative gift bag filled with Invictus Initiative wrist bands, pencils, African American History month bookmarks, amongst other trinkets. The program ended with the reciting of the Invictus poem, written by William Ernest Henley. …….I am the Master of my fate.  I am the Captain of my soul!!


Honoree Dr. Lester Young