Macmillan Learning today announced the winners for the company’s first “Black History, Black Stories” contest.

The student winner is Charles Walker Jr., from Marymount University who created a video about how he has been inspired by former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick. And the instructor winner is Bradley Borougerdi, from Tarrant County College (TX) whose work explored his decision to found the nonprofit Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice to teach about the history of racial terror and lynching.

The contest was created by the Macmillan Learning'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 who support the creation of course materials for college students, including the company’s portfolio of History titles.

“The videos and essays were very competitive and inspiring," said Macmillan Learning Panelist Melissa Rodriguez. "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.”

The judges said they were moved by Walker’s winning video. "By wearing the jersey and having video in the field, the student brought Kaepernick’s words, movements, and personal connection to life.” In his video, Walker notes notes that "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.”

Borougerdi’s video "spoke directly to how our study of history can motivate the actions we take towards influencing change in our present and future," the judges said. "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.”

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 and Kourtney Black


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

The winners will be featured on the Macmillan Learning History Community Site with $1,000 going to the top student and instructor winners, $500 to second place winners and $250 for third place.