Essays recognize Black American achievements

Anne Marie Amacher
St. Martin de Porres Society, based at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, announced its Black History Month essay contest winners at All Saints Catholic School in Davenport. Winners are front, from left: Ackley Sabel, Cruz Murillo, Autumn Gomes and Isabella DeVries; back, teacher Leah Trevor, society members Jana Seutter, Rachel Mason, Eileen O’Brien, Thomas Mason IV, Principal Jeanne Von Feldt and teacher Julie McCreary.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — Four students at All Saints Catholic School were honored for their essays on the contributions of Black Americans to society. St. Martin de Porres Society, based at Sacred Heart Cathedral, sponsored the contest.

First-place winner Ackley Sabel wrote about baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Amanda Gomes, who wrote about poet and civil rights activist Mya Angelo, tied for second place with Cruz Marillo, who wrote about Frederick Douglass, a social reformer, abolitionist and statesman. Third-place honors went to Isabella DeVries, who wrote about Coretta Scott King, American author, civil rights activist and widow of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“All essays were wonderful to read,” said Thomas Mason IV, the society’s president. “I was thrilled with the essays.” He said the society has been active in collaboration with All Saints for many years. Typically, each February — during Black History Month — the society’s Jim Collins makes a presentation at the school. The essay contest to recognize the achievements of Black Americans began about six years ago. Last year, the society invited Assumption High School students to participate in a separate writing contest with the same topic. “Next year will plan to add another Catholic school,” Mason said.


Eileen O’Brien, a society member, essay judge and former All Saints teacher, told the students, “I was impressed by how well written the essays were. You had a good hook,” she said, adding that the variety of people profiled was impressive.

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