PALMDALE – For months, Jennifer Williams, Emani Stanford, Alexis Hithe and Sarah Grace Durham gave up their weekends and spent working lunches boning up on African American culture, accomplishments and history.
Their hard work and discipline paid off Saturday, when the four SOAR High School seniors clinched victory for a second time at the Black365 Knowledge Bowl competition.
“The competition was fierce and intense,” said founder Jamaal Brown. “It actually came down to the final Knowledge Bowl question.”
The Black365 Knowledge Bowl Competition, now in its second year, is a jeopardy-style competition where students from different schools face off to test their knowledge of Black history.
The competition also serves another important purpose, Brown said.
“To show the community that there are students in our community who want information and want to be empowered by our collective past and collective history,” he said. “There are students out there who are more than athletes, drug dealers, gang members and entertainers, but are scholars and are inspired by our history.”
This year’s competition included four teams – The Super SAJE Sistah Squad from SOAR High School; the AV Scholars from Antelope Valley High School; the Freedom Riders from Pete Knight High School; and the Lady Saints from Animo Locke II Charter High School in Los Angeles.
Teams buzzed in on 101 questions covering various topics in Black history, including Great African Leaders, African Flags, Political Prisoners, Famous Lecturers, and Black Organizations.
By all accounts, the students performed exceptionally well.
“The students all rose to the occasion… their mastery of the information was truly impressive,” said Brown. “Those who attended were informed and entertained.”
The back-to-back champions from SOAR High School took home $150 cash and a Black365 Knowledge Bowl Trophy. Second place winners, The AV Scholars from Antelope Valley High School, took home $50 cash and medals.
Students in the competition said they took home something else – something much more valuable.
“An enriching experience on Black culture,” said SOAR team leader Jennifer Williams.
“I feel as though Black history is important for everyone, not just people of African American descent or people who have the color of black, but I think it’s important for everybody to know,” said SOAR team member Sarah Grace Durham.
Brown said many questions for the Knowledge Bowl competition came from the Black365 calendar, a 12-month wall calendar that highlights an event in Black History every day. For more information or to purchase a Black365 calendar, visit www.black365.us.
Additionally, applications for participants and sponsors are now being accepted for next year’s Black365 Knowledge Bowl competition. For more information, visit www.black365knowledgebowl.com.