published Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Black history bowl will send team to international meet

IF YOU GO

What: 2013 African-American History Challenge Bowl

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: UTC student center auditorium

Students from six Hamilton County and North Georgia high schools will participate in the first African-American History Challenge Bowl sponsored by 100 Black Men this weekend.

The winner will compete internationally at the 100 Black Men annual conference in New Orleans.

Students are coming from as far as the United Kingdom and the Caribbean to participate.

"This is going to be an opportunity for Chattanooga to highlight our students on an international level," said Erskine Oglesby, 100 Black Men of Chattanooga president.

The Chattanooga competition is scheduled at 1 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium of the student center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Oglesby started the bowl in Chattanooga this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the local chapter of 100 Black Men. The competition will be held annually, he said.

Two students from each school and an alternate will form a team. There will be three rounds of competition with each round lasting about 20 minutes. Most questions will come from the book, "Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008," by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Teams earn points for answering correctly. The team with the most points wins, said Oglesby.

Medals and trophies will be awarded to the third- and second-place teams and every one will get a certificate for participating. But the winning team will get an all-expenses-paid trip to New Orleans in June.

Learning history makes students more aware of how their ancestors struggled to live and prosper, said event chairman John Edwards III.

"If you don't know what price was paid for something, you don't understand its value," Edwards said. He operates the Mary Walker Historical & Education Foundation, which co-sponsors the event with Brewer Media, UTC and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. A CIA representative will visit Chattanooga on Friday, visiting the Girls Leadership Academy and then attending the history bowl Saturday.

Understanding of history also curtails violence, Edwards said.

Some ethnic groups have a structure for teaching history so children never forget the past, he said. Members of those groups don't kill each other because they relish their history and they have a sense of pride. Self-esteem comes with knowing history, he said.

Edwards spoke a day after 16-year-old Lamunta Williams died near Howard High School after being shot multiple times. Courtney Birt, 18, has been charged with criminal homicide in the death.

about Yolanda Putman...

Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...

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