Local schoolchildren share views on “Black Migration”

By Robert D. Martin    26 February 2019

All the essay winners with Army War College Commandant Maj. Gen. John Kem in the middle, along with USAWC student panel members, Bliss Hall, Feb 13

The Army War College honored 19 students from 8 local area middle schools for their writing skills as part of its annual African American/Black History Month Observance in Bliss Hall Wed., Feb. 13.

The theme of this year's observance is “Black Migration.” It highlights the movement of 6 million African Americans from the South to cities across the Northeast, Midwest and West in search of higher wages, industrial jobs, and better social and political opportunities from 1915 to 1970. This relocation resulted in a massive demographic shift across the United States.

“I chose to write about a Michaela DePrince who was a ballerina, because I knew some of her story already, and I love ballet also,” said 8th grader Sophia Corona from Lamberton Middle School. “She is from Sierra Leone, and when she was young both her parents died, she was then adopted by an American family and migrated to the U.S. I learned a lot about migration when writing this essay and how it affected people,” she said.

This year's War College event included a panel discussion that featured three resident students, Cynthia Crippen-Cooks, Debra McKoy and Lt. Col. Carl Hennemann, who spoke about their families’ migrations. An awards ceremony and a food sampling followed their discussion.

“My essay is about the Harlem Renaissance and how African Americans contributed to the arts community,” said Jocelyn Warner, a 6th-grade student from Big Spring Middle School. “I was amazed while researching for my essay how much African Americans contributed to music such as Jazz, Literature and Art.”

“It was an honor to be acknowledged here today, I was really surprised when the teacher told me that I would be recognized by the Army War College,” she said.

Each February, the U.S. reflects upon and celebrates the tremendous contributions of African Americans to our great nation. The U.S. Army recognizes the contributions black soldiers made in the past and continue to make today.

Schools represented in this year’s essay contest were:


Evan Wheeler Untitled


Sophia Corona Michaela DePrince: A Migration Story

Ella Barr Steps Into Space

Aviana Alejandro-Walker Black Migration


Simran Kulkarni Black Discrimination and Protests

Sameera Komminani The Tunes that Shaped America


Neha Shukla Black Migrations

Adrija Rambhatla The Evolution of Jazz Throughout Black Migration


Martha Mundell Untitled

Ken Lee Untitled

Maya Reichenbach Untitled


Jackie Wyszynski Finding Home

Sophia Goss Black Migrations

Mya Borgel Finding Home: The Great Migration in Later Decades of the 20th Century


John James Patterson VII The Harlem Renaissance

Jocelyn Warner The Harlem Renaissance


Mia Snyder African American Music

Morgan Coleman Black Migrations to the City of Brotherly Love

Julia Shaeffer The Lost Boys of Sudan