Living the dream

Part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy was his ability to communicate an idea to a captivated audience.

“If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live,” he once said during a speech on civil rights.

Five minority students from South Florida high schools will compete in an oratorical competition this Friday that will test their ability to deliver an emphatic, inspirational speech in the same style of Dr. King.

The event, sponsored by the historically black Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, will feature $250 and $100 prizes for the first and second place winners of the competition.The event is significant in that Dr. King himself was a member of the fraternity. Actually being selected to be a contestant, is a feat in itself.

“This is an event that will showcase their writing and speaking skills in front of a large crowd,” said Jeremy Ladson, president of Alpha Phi Alpha. “It’s something they wouldn’t get to do in high school.”

Friday will mark the second time the fraternity has held the event, sponsored by the Butler Center for Service and Leadership, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and United Black Students.

Last year’s winner, Leonard Thompson, applied his scholarship to the University of Florida.

“I was pushing for him to come to UM,” said Lionel Moise, Chairman of the event, “But we will always keep in touch with the winners to mentor them.”

Ramon Galiana may be contacted at


Friday, 1/29/2010