Black History Essay Competition

The Dr. Carter G. Woodson 2024 Black History Essay Competition for Students in Grades 10-12 and at Marshall University.  This essay contest is sponsored by the national Pan-Hellenic Council at Marshall University as well as the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum.

African Americans and the Arts


There are four separate divisions for the competition based on three high school levels — for students in grades 10, 11 and 12 — and one level for all Marshall University students.


$100 each to winners in grades 10, 11 and 12; $200 to the Marshall University winner, and $50 to honorable mentions.


Due to the poor weather conditions and school closings last week, the deadline has been extended to 11 p.m., January 26, 2024

Essays will be judged on

  • The extent to which students effectively express the importance the theme, “African Americans and the Arts.”
  • Correct use of spelling, grammar usage, sentence structure.
  • organization, arguments and conclusion also will be considered by judges.


Please note the following requirements:

  1. Students in grades 10-12 should state their names, grade levels and teachers’ names if they are submitting essays through a class. This information should appear on line 1.
    Marshall students should state their names, year in school and majors on the top line of each page.
  2. Pages should be numbered.
  3. On line 2, type the essay’s theme — “African Americans and the Arts.”
  4. Below the headings (1-3 above), the first page should be a short statement about what the student learned while conducting research for this essay – at least 100 words but not longer than page 1.
  5. Page 2 should be the parental consent form.
  6. The essay should begin on page 3.
  7. Page setup should be 1-inch margins, and text should be double-spaced using 12-point font in Times New Roman.
  8. Essays should be submitted only in PDF.
  9. Create a filename for the document: Your Lastname_BlackHistoryEssay_2024 (Example: Morris_BlackHistoryEssay_2024).

Additional Information

Please visit 2024 Black History Theme African Americans and the Arts ( for additional information about the Black History Theme. Explore Black History through the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (, the organization founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1915.


Dr. Carter G. Woodson is considered the Father of Black History. He received his high school diploma from Frederick Douglass High School in Huntington, West Virginia, in 1896, and returned four years later as principal. A statue of Dr. Woodson is located at 820 Hall Greer Blvd., in Huntington. About Dr. Woodson:

Other Important Information

  • Winners must complete paperwork for payments of the awards.
  • Winners (including parents/guardians of minors) grant Marshall University permission for use of the winning essays in printed forms and online in various promotions.
  • Winners are expected to attend the awards dinner at Marshall in February.

Upload Essay

Sorry, we are no longer taking contest entries. The deadline had been extended to January 26th at 11pm.