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Saturday, April 13, 2024

9-year-old girl wins Martin Luther King Oratory contest in US, earns $1,000 cash prize

A brilliant 9-year-old girl named Montoia Murray has emerged the winner of the Martin Luther King oratory competition and was awarded the a cash prize worth 1000 dollars for her outstanding performance.

Murray is a fourth grader at Houston Independent School District’s (ISD) Blackshear Elementary who prepared for weeks to to honor the late civil rights icon, Martin Luther King jr.

She prepared with her school Librarian to prepare a  five-minute and 20-second speech for the 28th annual MLK Jr. oratory competition. The speech focused on on what Martin Luther would say 60 years after his historic address during the March on Washington. 

While practicing the speech, Murray focused on her stance, hand gestures, and even posture. At the finals, she finally got to give her speech in front of an audience, delivering a powerful performance.

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“Dr. King’s last words would be to you…He would say, ‘My life was worth sacrificing because I was fighting for you. You deserve the right to a free public education, ’’she said during her speech.

Murray won first place in the competitionand was awarded a 1,000 dollar cash prize. She said in an interview with Houston Chronicles that the moment was emotional as she burst into tears, shocked that all of her hard work had paid off.

She was one of 12 fourth and fifth graders within Houston who participated in the event, answering the question” “How Would Dr. King Reflect on the 60 Years Since his ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech?”


Murray’s mother, ChaDanet Murray said in tears that she is proud that her daughter had won, shouting her praise from the audience.  “Whatever role that you give her, she’s just willing to take that challenge, and she’s not afraid of it.,” Chadnet Murray said.

”Whatever you dish out to her, she’s good. She is a singer, so she’s not afraid of the stage at all. She actually comes alive on the stage. That’s her domain. That’s where she shines,” she added.

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