Macmillan Learning Announces Winners of First Annual “Black History, Black Stories” Contest

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Charles Walker, Jr. and Bradley Borougerdi each win a $1,000 prize for their video submission by exploring their passion for Black leaders and events that inspired their own stories

New York, Feb 5, 2021 -- Macmillan Learning, a privately-held, family-owned education publishing and services company, announced the winners for the company’s first “Black History, Black Stories” contest. The contest was created by the company’s college History group to elevate Black voices in education and in recognition of the fight for social justice inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. 



This fall, students and instructors submitted either a short essay and a picture or a brief video that answered how they were drawing inspiration from Black history, events, movements, or leaders. The submissions were judged by a cross-section of ten Macmillan Learning employees that support the creation of course materials for college students, including the company’s vast portfolio of History titles.

“The videos and essays were very competitive and inspiring. From trailblazing family histories to the stories of slave descendants to modern-day activists that inspire and far beyond, many of these stories profoundly moved the judging panel. It was very difficult to choose only three winners in each category from all these talented voices,” said Macmillan Learning Panelist Melissa Rodriguez.

This year’s student winner was Charles Walker Jr., from Marymount University. Walker created a video about how he has been inspired by American activist Colin Kaepernick, and the symbolism and impact of his actions. He noted in his video “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your background is, how much money you have in your pocket, you have a platform and you must use it in order to make change in this world.”

Said one judge of Walker’s video: “I was moved by the way he told the story through video and the impact on his life … by wearing the jersey and having video in the field, the student brought Kaepernick’s words, movements, and personal connection to life.” 

This year’s instructor winner was Bradley Borougerdi, from Tarrant County College spoke about how he was inspired to found the non-profit Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice to teach about the history of racial terror and lynching noting that, “We allow the wounds of history to fester when we neglect them.”

Said one judge of Borougerdi’s video: “His submission spoke directly to how our study of history can motivate the actions we take towards influencing change in our present and future. He demonstrated the understanding that we cannot study history as outsiders who are removed from its truths, but instead must allow it to teach us about who we were, who we are, and who we want to be.” 

All winners will be featured on the Macmillan Learning History Community Site and win prize money, with $1,000 going to the top student and instructor winners, $500 to second place winners and $250 for third place. The full list of winners includes:


  • 1st Place: Charles Walker, Marymount University
  • 2nd Place: Maddison Hill, University of Mobile
  • 3rd Place:  Riell Swann, Marymount University
  • Honorable Mentions: Cyara Cooper, Kourtney Black and Anaya Arnold 

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  • 1st Place: Dr. Bradley J. Borougerdi, Tarrant County College
  • 2nd Place: Dr. Headley White, Bethune-Cookman University
  • 3rd Place: Dr. Shiarnice Burns, Houston Community College
  • Honorable Mentions: Peter Boykin, Wayne County Community College and Robert Davis of Wallace State College

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