Annual Black History Brain Brawl Honors Youth Historians

Darnell Cookman Black History Team

By Mike Bonts

A February tradition, the James Lee Coon Jr. African American History Brian Brawl completion was held last weekend at Edward Waters College.  Elementary, middle school and high schools from across North Florida turned out to compete in a day-long competition emceed by Jacksonville City Councilman Samuel Newby and Judge Brian Davis. Garden City Elementary, Darnell Cookman Middle/High School took top honors.

Sharon Coon began the annual event in honor of her son James Lee Coon, Jr.   A Jacksonville native who was tragically kidnapped and slain in 1995 when he was a sophomore at the University of North Florida.  When Coon was 15 years old he established the African American Brain Brawl Academic Competition in Duval County as a way to bring a positive light to the black community.

Founder of Tots N’ Teens Theater, Sharon Coon has devoted more than 50 years to her passion—making a difference in the lives of youth in economically deprived communities.

During the competition, teams of students work in a timed, high pressure atmosphere to correctly answer Black History questions. Winners receive bragging rights and a trophy in honor of their efforts. nancybontsphoto

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