Speeches From The Annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition Were Influenced By 2016

A dozen elementary students celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today. The kids spoke at the annual MLK Jr. Oratory competition at Houston’s historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.


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Surrounded by stained glass windows and pews carved by former slaves, elementary children took the stage one by one to deliver their speeches.

With the passing of Mohammed Ali in June, students were asked to commemorate both him and Martin Luther King, Jr..

"So today, as we celebrate Dr. King and Mohammed Ali, let us remember their fights for freedom were intertwined," Zyahra Barnes, student at Windsor Village Elementary.

Students also mentioned social movements that impacted 2016.

"But today our black men are being shot and killed without regard. That is why athletes such as Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has refused to pledge allegiance to a flag that promises liberty and justice for all when society is showing differently," Jernee Craig, student at Whidby Elementary.

Other kids touched on things like police brutality, anti-immigration, and “All Lives Matter.”