More than 7,000 students throughout San Diego County will compete for $1,000 in prize money next week in the sixth annual Black History Essay Contest commemorating Black History Month in San Diego.
Winning essays on the theme "What Black History Means to Me" will be announced at a 7 p.m. gathering next Friday at Gompers Secondary School where students will hear a speech from James Norfleet, a black scientist who has created numerous products for Colgate-Palmolive Co., including Ultra-Brite toothpaste. The program is free to the public.
The contest is sponsored by Coast Distributing Co., the Southeast San Diego Comprehensive Health Center and the San Diego chapter of the National Medical Assn., a group of black doctors.
The contest was created in 1983 by Juande Ragsdale-Blevins. As a student of Kearny High School, Ragsdale-Blevins was barred from an essay contest by the Daughters of the American Revolution who were the sponsors and prohibited blacks from participating.