Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Oratorical Speech Contest: A Celebration Of MLK

April 14 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

People sitting in the pews inside First African Baptist Church where the Oratorical Speech Contest takes place.

Step into history and witness the power of words at the MLK, Jr. Oratorical Speech Contest in Dublin, GA. Join together on Sunday, April 14th, at 3 PM for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and the enduring impact of his oratory.

Held at the historic First African Baptist Church, where a young Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his inaugural public speech in 1944, this annual oratorical event promises to inspire and enlighten. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a tradition that continues to honor the past and empower the future through the art of speech-making.

MLK Jr. Oratorical Contest

2024 Theme: African Americans and the Arts

Students from 6th grade to college freshmen are invited to compete in the oratorical speech contest for a chance to win a cash prize!

This year’s theme examines the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans. For centuries Western intellectuals denied or minimized the contributions of people of African descent to the arts as well as history, even as their artistry in many genres was mimicked and/or stolen. However, we can still see the unbroken chain of Black art production from antiquity to the present, from Egypt across Africa, from Europe to the New World.

Suggested topics for this year include: Basket-Making: A Three-Hundred Year Tradition, & The Artistry of the Sweet-grass Basket Additional suggestions can be found in the 2024 Oratorical Contestant’s Package.

Contestant Categories & Prizes

This contest is FREE and open to all in these categories.

Prizes range from $10 for participation, to $500 for first prize in designated grade categories!

Contest Workshop

An Oratorical Speech Round-Up Rally and Workshop is being held Saturday, March 30th from 12:30 PM to 2 PM at First African Baptist Church. If you are applying for the contest, please plan to attend the workshop. 

Application & Info

Applications are due no later than Saturday, March 30th. For the application package, click here: 2024 – Oratorical Contestant Package

Application can be mailed to: MLK Oratorical Speech Contest; 1105 Edgewood Drive Dublin, GA 31021 

For Information call: Jerry Davis 478-697-6817 or Marilyn Moore 478-275-0967.


In 1944, the Colored Elks Clubs of Georgia held their state convention at First African Baptist Church in Dublin GA and sponsored an essay contest. Fifteen year old Martin Luther King Jr. read his essay at the convention and won first place.

In 2012, a group of dedicated civic-minded individuals sponsored the first-ever Oratorical Speech Contest in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his first public speech. A monument now commemorates his first speech across the street from the historic church.


April 14
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
, ,


First African Baptist Church
405 Telfair Street
Dublin, GA 31021 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website