• Cedar Hill

    Frederick Douglass

    National Historic Site District of Columbia

Oratorical Contest

Annual Oratorical Contest

The goal of the Oratorical Contest is for students to experience the same transformative power of language that Frederick Douglass experienced as a young man. The contest is open to all students in grades 1-12 and is hosted in early December. Students memorize and present a portion of a Douglass speech from a stage at his home of Cedar Hill.

Look below for more information on applications, movies about the contest, and lists of past winners.


Video of 2013 Winners














2014 Winners

Thanks to everyone for participating. The quality was outstanding. Congratulations to this year's winners.

Elementary (Grades 1-3)

Aneesh Mandapati
Floris Elementary School
Herndon, VA

Silas Montgomery
Takoma Park, MD

Ian Hilliard
Clarksville Elementary School
Clarksville, MD

Junior (Grades 4-5)

Anina Kim Dentel-Pham
Ben W. Murch Elementary School
Washington, DC

Jasani Primrose
Watkins Elementary School
Washington, DC

Elijah Coles-Brown
Twin Hickory Elementary School
Glen Allen, VA

Junior High (Grades 6-8)

Katherine Smith
Lakewood Montessori Middle School
Durham, NC

Daniel Bates
Fort Washington, MD

Lesleigh Hilliard
Clarksville Middle School
Clarksville, MD

Senior High (Grades 9-12)

Anjali Mahadevia
Atholton High School
Columbia, MD

Campbell McDade Clay
Brighton High School
Rochester, NY

Daevon Gurley
Baltimore, MD


Podium Points Oratory Videos

We have a new tool to help you prepare this year. Four movies, each of which breaks down a different aspect of great oratory. Thembi Duncan (a master from Ford's Theatre) and students at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, take you through physical, verbal, and mental skills, as well as how to practice with others. Thanks to Ford's Theatre, the National Mall, the National Park Foundation, and Meridian Hill Productions for their help.






Oratorical Contest in the Washington Post!

Thanks to the Washington Post for coming out and taking pictures of the 2011 Contest. Check out the photo gallery for some wonderful photographs.


Pictures from 2012

Pictures from the 2012 contest are being posted to Flickr where you are free to browse them.

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