Wednesday, January 09, 2002
Winning idea: Freedom is thinking
14-year-old earns first place in city essay competition
By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Freedom to 14-year-old Markita Robinson is "being able to think.
The eight-grader and basketball player at Hays/Porter/Washburn School won first place in an essay contest on What Freedom Means To Me.
She beat out 490 student writers in Cincinnati. The contest was sponsored by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, in partnership with Coca-Cola and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Markita Robinson, 14, sits with Bengals player Takeo Spikes before reading her prize-winning essay Tuesday.|
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
Her winning essay reads:
Freedom means to me being able to be myself. By that I mean being able to think the way I feel is correct. Also being able to acknowledge my past heritage. By acknowledging my heritage, I am able to know where I came from, to shine a light on where I am going.
Martin Luther King Jr. showed me that struggle and determination lead to a future of stability. Although struggle and discrimination still exist, I can still take advantage of every other freedom that most people take advantage of.
So to me, freedom means being able to think.
Markita read her winning essay to students at the school Tuesday during a short program.
Evan Greene, 12, a sixth-grader from Eastwood Paideia, was the second-place winner. He and Markita each received an autographed football, a cap and a T-shirt presented by Cincinnati Bengals defensive captain Takeo Spikes.
Janay Brunson, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Washington Park, took third place. He was not at the ceremony.
Mr. Spikes told the students that knowing your history is important to your future.
The first step in going where you want to go is knowing your past, Mr. Spikes said. He said the Rev. Dr. King and Muhammad Ali were two who set the standard for recognizing their heritage.
Carl Westmoreland, a senior adviser for the Freedom Center, told the students that freedom starts with education.
A former builder and developer, Mr. Westmoreland told the students that he built one of the buildings where Coca-Cola is located.
That is freedom, the freedom to do what you want, he said.
Markita is captain of her school's girls' basketball team, which has a winning record (3-1).
I am excited about winning the contest, she said. I love writing, and I love basketball.
Adamowski: Replacing buildings a 'no-brainer'
Bush signs school bill in Hamilton
Hamilton turns out for president
Top cops meet president
New federal law doesn't worry Ky., Ohio officials
Roach hiring reconsidered
Paperwork bogs down riot loans
CAN about ready to convert words to actions
Make a rule, break a rule
Opposition mounts tonight against Loveland YMCA
Tristate A.M. Report
Winning idea: Freedom is thinking
RADEL: This old school
SAMPLES: Vigilante mom
HOWARD: Some Good News
19th DUI gets man four years
Fast-growing Mason expands by another 105 acres
Memorial campaign under way
Senior services levy proposed
Byrd execution date sought
Let judge decide on cameras in court, congressman says
Anti-gambling in full-court press
Armed robber forces 4 to strip
Four deny roles in murders
Kentucky News Briefs
Riverfront site set to become Newport park
Session opens with fighting
Small Wal-Mart plan expected for Ft. Wright site
Three carjack man near Carrollton