About 100 people gathered in the Thompson Middle School cafeteria on to compete in the 16th Annual Black History Bowl. Coordinated by the (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) the event brought Aquidneck Islanders of all ages and races.
The event kicked off at 3 p.m. in honor of George Triplett, Former Newport School Committee Chairperson, who received a Certificate of Appreciation in honor of his service from 1995-2010. After a few thankful words from Triplett, the students competing were introduced. Three teams of participants from three schools included:
Gaudet Middle School (Middletown)
Advisor: Rick Taylor
Students: Kam-Ron Ayala, Samantha Plezia, Donishia Wray, Kyle Dominekoski
Portsmouth Middle School
Advisor: Carol Strakosch
Students: Elijah Evans, Gus Karres, Conlan McDonald
Thompson Middle School (Newport)
Advisor: Michael Browner
Students: Day Carter, Alex Waugh, Jenna Erasquin, Shannon Dunn
NAACP 2nd Vice President Kendra Goodman moderated the bowl and Anita DeWitt, Victoria Johnson, and Charles Roberts made up the judging panel.
The rules were simple: Any team could answer a question by raising their hand. Teams were allowed to confer for a few seconds and could even answer the question before it was read completely. If they failed to answer the question correctly, the next team with a raised hand was given a chance.
The Black History trivia started with an arts and entertainment category. The first few questions went unanswered by any of the teams, however, Thompson was the first to get on the board. Portsmouth received a point in the second category, civil rights, but Thompson held strong through all of the other categories, including literature, sports, science and inventors, and history. One point was awarded for each correct answer given by the teams. Gaudet received their first and only point of the Bowl in the final round.
The final score: Thompson – 19, Portsmouth – 1, Gaudet – 1.
Each student received a gift for participating in the event and Judge Johnson gave a few closing remarks.
“I am so proud of all of these students,” Johnson said. “These are the children of our future.”
“All of these students studied so hard, and I thank them so much for their participation. We all had so much fun and we should be so proud of them,” added Black History Bowl Committee member Joyce Williams.