“I think that if he [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.] were still alive, he would tell us that it is now time to speak up and claim our money from the bank of freedom, prosperity and peace, today is our pay day.”
These were Aiden B.’s final words in his original speech, ultimately making him the winner of the 32nd Dallas MLK Oratory Competition. His response to this year’s theme, “How would Dr. King reflect on the 60 years since his “I Have A Dream’ speech,” addressed topics prevailing in today’s society:
“This reminds me that there is still hope, it’s time to go back to the bank and make things right. Today is our pay day; If someone says, ‘You’re not good enough,’ say, ‘No, it’s my payday.’ If someone calls you bad names, says ‘you can’t have this job, you have the wrong skin color, you can’t live here, you can’t go to this top college’ say, ‘No, it’s my payday.’”
All participants received a plaque, a gift bag from the sponsor, Foley & Lardner LLP, an Apple iPad, and a book about Dr. King. Alongside Aiden, Jzairus H-S. from Thomas Tolbert Elementary School placed second, and Kennedy S. from Charles Rice Learning Center placed third.
For 32 years, the MLK oratory competition has inspired elementary students in Dallas and other cities to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. By partaking in this event, students improve their writing and public speaking skills and highlight their communities’ cultural diversity and talent.
See Aiden deliver his entire speech here.