USD Just Read! Student Essay Contest

books with logo Just Read Student Essay Contest

Congratulations 2017-2018 USD Just Read! Student Essay Contest Winners

Mckenna Sakamoto, 1st Place

Between the School and Me: An Analysis of Equity in Public Education

As sociologist Pedro Noguera stated in his book The Trouble with Black Boys, public education is a remarkable, ambitious endeavor to educate all American children and to turn no one away (Noguera, 2008). Public education has been championed as a place where each student has an equal chance to succeed, but public schools frequently fall short of these expectations. As Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals in Between the World and Me, students from traditionally marginalized groups, particularly black students, suffer the most in public education (Coates, 2015, p .25).

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Samuel Hixon, 2nd Place

Educational Inequities: The Hypocrisy of America’s Educational System and its Role in
Continuing America’s Historic Oppression of Minorities                                                       

In its national anthem, America proclaims itself “the land of the free and the home of the
brave.” From its inception, America has touted itself as a country providing freedom and justice through democracy in which “all men are created equal” and are “entitled to certain unalienable rights” (US Declaration of Independence, 1776). Yet America has constantly contradicted itself on these values of freedom, equality, and justice that it ostensibly holds most dear, casting them aside for economic interests, political and societal power, and fear of the “other.”

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Chinazom Enenwali, 3rd Place

Your Life is Insignificant: Education and the “Dream”                                                       

For many African Americans, a historically black college university (HBCU) provides a unparalleled opportunity to learn about black history in an environment that celebrates their culture. In his book, Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates narrates his experience of being black in America and highlights the relationship between American society and the destruction of black bodies. He illustrates how the racist structures in American society affect him and the concepts that keep black Americans oppressed; the most important being the “Dream”.

Read the full essay here. 

2018-2019 Just Read! Essay Contest Information

  • 2018-2019 Just Read! Essay Contest Information