Birmingham City Public Schools High School Essay Contest
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” – Ida B. Wells
This essay contest coincides with the dedication of a historical marker at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. The marker will memorialize Jake McKenzie, Tom Redmond, and the practices of convict leasing in Jefferson County.
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) offers this essay contest to help students engage with both this local and national history. Mr. Redmond and Mr. McKenzie are two of over 4,400 African American victims of racial terror lynchings killed between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and World War II.
This essay contest is a chance to learn about this history, form your opinions on it, and connect our history to contemporary issues of racial injustice our communities still face today.