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Middle and Upper School Teams Make Strong Showing in African-American History Awareness Competition
Middle and Upper School Teams Make Strong Showing in African-American History Awareness Competition

Ravenscroft sent two teams, one from the Middle School and one from the Upper School, to the 16th annual Carter G. Woodson African-American History Awareness Competition. The Middle School team brought home a second-place finish in its division, and the Upper School team placed third.

The event, sponsored by the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was held Saturday, Feb. 24, at Shaw University in Raleigh and included competition at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The middle school division featured six teams, many with four students each, most of whom were eighth graders. Ravenscroft's team, made up of three sixth graders — (left to right) Maddie Lucien '24, Aiden Whitehead '24 and Anthony Walters '24 — pushed through early challenges, including some technical difficulties on-site that required organizers to recreate the questions on paper, to make it to the finals.

"I'm so proud of our students," Katie Barnwell, the team's advisor, said. "Despite being younger and having one less team member, Maddie, Aiden and Anthony remained determined, confident and excited for the challenge. They worked together and persevered to earn second place, losing to the reigning champions [Zebulon GT Magnet Middle School, in their 10th consecutive win] by only one question."

The Upper School team comprised (left to right) Amir Britton '21, Charles Cook '21, Matthew Hunter '20 and Quenton Blache '19 and was one of seven teams competing in the high school division. Other competitors were Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design, Broughton High School, Top Teens of America, Garner Road Community Center, Southeast Raleigh High School and Garner High School. The Ravens had the highest cumulative total going into the final round and ended up taking third place overall. Broughton eventually defeated Knightdale for the win.

"I think our students really enjoy participating in the African-American History Awareness Competition, as it allows them to show their academic talents and support an event that highlights achievements of African Americans on a national and local level," Alfie Hobbs, the Upper School team's advisor, said. "We've participated in this event over the past three years and have placed each time, which shows the dedication and enthusiasm that our students have to not only represent the Ravenscroft community but to also show the positive image of high-achieving young African Americans."

Carter G. Woodson, often called "the father of black history," was the impetus for Black History Month, observed each February. Born to formerly enslaved parents in 1875, he devoted himself to learning and became the second African American (after W.E.B. Du Bois) to earn a doctorate from Harvard. Woodson eventually became a professor and, later, a dean at Howard University. He made it his life's work to study and spread awareness of the history of African Americans, founding in 1915 the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History) to support research and education on African-American history.