Bynums Creative Institute (a division of Bynums Marketing & Communications, Inc.), is inviting students ages 6 through 18 to participate in the 18th annual African American History Essay Contest. 

The competition is held each year in celebration of Black History Month, and it is designed to help students of all races learn about African-Americans who have made positive contributions to society. Key sponsors for the contest are GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, UPMC Health Plan, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.

“When people understand their history, it helps them recognize their potential,” says Russell Bynum, president of Bynums Marketing & Communications, Inc. “We felt it was important to keep this essay contest going and continue passing on the rich legacy of African-American contributions to America and the world.”

The 2010 essay contest is slated to be one of the most exciting of its time. This year, student essays will capture the contributions of African-American inventors, engineers,and product designers. Along with their essays, students can submit poetry, video, music and artwork for extra points. Winners will be honored at a press conference/reception in April with local celebrity presenters, a motivational speaker and entertainment.  In addition to cash prizes, winners will receive a commemorative booklet that includes their essays. The names of all entrants will be listed in the commemorative booklet.

To enter, students must answer the following essay question: What African- American product designer, engineer, or inventor, do you admire and why? How has that person impacted society?

All entries must be postmarked by March 12, 2010. First-place winners will receive $500 plus $500 for their sponsoring organization.  Second-place winners will receive $100 plus $100 for their sponsoring organization, and third-place winners $50 plus $50 for their sponsoring organization.  Prizes are awarded in three age categories:  Ages 6-9, 10-13 and 14-18.

(To obtain an entry form and contest rules, visit or send an email request to: For cosponsorship information, contact Crystal at For general questions about the contest, call 412-471-4332.)

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