EPB is inviting students, grades 1-12, to compete in the 15th-annual Black History Month poetry contest.

Winning students and teachers will receive $1,000 and be invited to EPB Black History Month Awards Banquet.

This year, students are asked to write a poem about an African American pioneer who broke the color barrier within the last 10 years. Students must choose from this list of 10 African American "firsts" and what their achievement means to you. Students in grades 1-3 can submit a poem or a drawing.

2008- 2018 African American "firsts"

  1. Mike Carey: First African American to referee a Super Bowl game (Super Bowl XLII): 2008
  2. Dustin Byfuglien- First African American to win Stanley Cup (Chicago Blackhawks): 2010
  3. Jeh Johnson- First African American United States Secretary of Homeland Security: 2013
  4. Michelle J. Howard- First African American woman Four-Star Admiral: 2014
  5. Channing Dungey- First African American President of a major broadcast TV Network: 2016
  6. Lena Waithe- First African American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing: 2017
  7. Tyler Mitchell- First African American photographer to cover of Vogue Magazine: 2018
  8. Kehinde Wiley- First African American male artist commissioned for US President portrait to be displayed in the Smithsonian: 2018
  9. Amy Sherald- First African American female artist commissioned US First Lady to be displayed in the Smithsonian: 2018
  10. Joanne Favors- First African American female elected to the Hamilton County Boards of Commissioners: 2018

Entries should be turned in no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 8. Students must include a cover sheet, introduction and poem. Winners will be notified by phone and email.