HOUSTON- When most people were focused on the match up between Jesse H. Jones versus Jack Yates High School on the basketball court, the two schools met earlier in the day at the Harambee Black History Knowledge Bowl. After a ten year hiatus the competition which tests teams on their knowledge of African and African-American history ancient and contemporary made a come back with a bang. The team from Jones answered questions quickly, many times before moderator Krystal Muhammad could complete her sentence. The questions ranged from Queens of Kemet (Egypt) through the Student Non-Violent Committee (SNCC) touching on science, education, sports and entertainment.
Parents, educators and community members buzzed with pride in seeing young people from both sides represent themselves with class and dignity in a academic setting. Representatives from grassroots community organizations served as judges with senior counsel from Reverend Ray Martin founder of Progressive Amatuer Boxing Association (PABA). Rapper K-Rino lifted the audience with a piece titled “Hollah At Me” a lyrical gem calling on young people to strive for excellence in all pursuits. Perhaps the most important question of the afternoon was asked by Deric Muhammad. “What has being in this competition meant to you?” he asked as the final question. Every student from both schools talked about how they learned facts they didn’t no and said the experience furthered their resolve to serve the Black community in different career paths.
Deloyd T. Parker Jr. Executive Director of S.H.A.P.E. Community Center were the event was held gave out laptop computers to the four members of the winning team. Each student from both teams received certificates and a free scholarship to SHAPE’s famous Freedom Tour for youth which retraces historical locations in the south of the civil rights movement. S.H.A.P.E. Community Center and the New Black Panther Party co-sponsored the educational activity.