On this special day, the Missoulian features the winners of the 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. writing and art contest. Cash prizes of $50, $20, $15 and $10 were awarded to the first- through fourth-place finishers, respectively, in each division for both artwork and essays.
The competition was sponsored by the National Coalition Building Institute, Missoula Advocates for Human Rights, YWCA, University of Montana Excellence Fund, University of Montana African-American Studies Program and the Missoulian.
There were no entries in the high-school division this year and no art entries in the middle-school division.
For questions about the contest, contact Justin Kaney with the NCBI at 541-6891.
For Dr. King
There are no segregated buses, schools,
water fountains or bathrooms.
But there are
people sitting on the streets
who no one notices
and children who are hungry.
There is violence and hatred
Until there is peace
is held in the hands of many,
like women dressed in black
on the bridge
holding signs for peace,
and those who
work in food banks
and health clinics
helping people in need.
We are still marching
towards a better world.
Grade 4, Sussex School
A flower bud's rosy petals are selfishly confined to being closed up and blind to the world. When their reluctant petals open up and breathe the fresh air of the fascinating world around them, they touch the unfamiliar petals of the other flowers and acknowledge the curious fact that they share the water and food supply with the rest of the field. They become more interested in the world and the needs of other sweet flowers. They have truly begun their life, because when a flower bud is closed it is blind and does not critically care.
What Martin Luther King Jr. said about connecting yourself with the thoughts and feelings of other people and not only caring about yourself is very true and if we were all great examples of it, the world would be a much better place to live.
Grade 4, Cold Springs
Martin Luther King Jr.
The sound of feet boomed like thunder
Across the stone bridge. The shrill cries
Of the protectors drowned in the sound of the march
Martin Luther King led the march tall and strong
An inspired silhouette in a giant human shadow
Peace was here, lighting a dark path to justice
In a leader and a legacy
He had a dream;
He had hope to help the world
He preached as light seeped through the window
He marched as the red sun beat down on their aching backs
And as a trickle of inky black seeped across the sky,
He dreamt about freedom.
He told them to fight,
For homes where the sky
Was not gray with shadows and sadness
He labored endlessly and spoke for a new life
A life on the high mountains of glory,
Not the low valleys of despair.
No longer should they suffer in the flames of inequality
Peace sang to them like a mockingbird
Flying off into a black night of uncertainty
Grade 5, Rattlesnake
Dear United States,
Just like Martin Luther King, Jr., who wanted the world to be fair, I also want the world to be fair. I think the fairest thing in the world would be world peace. There are more people dying every day. I think that we should not fight anymore. People are the same as us. They want to live in peace and not die. Everyone should have freedom to live as they choose. I think this would make everyone happy and the fighting would stop. This would lead to world peace.
Another thing that we should do for the world is to keep in touch with other countries. This way we can make more friends. Friends don't like to fight. Friends also care about each other and want happiness for them. Having more friends makes the world a better place.
A third thing we could do for our world is to vote for better leaders. Leaders should want peace and be kind to the people. Good leaders don't want to fight or start wars. They also can get along with other leaders. If we have good leaders that are liked, then everyone gets along.
Everyone needs to work together and get along nicely in order for world peace to work. If everyone in the world is nice and kind and thinks of others, then we would have world peace.
Grade 4, Cold Springs
Looking Past the Clouds, Focusing on the Big Picture
There are two kinds of problems. Your own, and everyone else's. It's the human way to put yourself first. When you're young, you learn to look out for yourself and propel yourself forward. Most people think their own problems are more concerning than other people's or even the world's. They think those problems don't apply to them, that they can't do anything to fix them, or even if they try it won't make a difference. They think they are too small compared to the rest of the world, so how can they be expected to fix anything?
However, if no one tried making things better, nothing would get better. Everyone should try to make just a small difference, because no matter what, something's being resolved. Starting small is just fine; there are plenty of small problems needing to be fixed that will help solve bigger problems. Everyone can use help with something, even just getting through a rough spot.
When you try to fix something, or help someone, you become a stronger person. Being there for someone will help them experience the love and strength that you have, and they might be inspired to help someone else.
If everyone in the world thought not only of themselves and their problems, but everyone and everyone's problems, the world would become a more desirable place to live. We don't need all the selfish people causing problems, which eventually become walloping dilemmas. Instead, we need people trying to help other people.
And if everyone is getting help, the conflicts will dissolve, and we'll have an overall happier place to live. A person does not understand life until he can learn to push for the greater cause.
Grade 8, C.S. Porter