Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Writer, Samantha Brown, Inspired by Dr. King and Her Uncle

MLK Essay Winner

Samantha Brown says that today’s leaders could learn a lot from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The sophomore biology major at Kent State University at Stark was chosen the winner of the campus’ Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Initiatives and celebrated during Kent State University’s 15th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance on January 26 and Black History Month activities this month. 

Brown’s essay focused on the characteristics of the country’s leaders of today and how they compare with the leadership traits that made King such an inspiration to all. Brown received $150 for her effort.

“The qualities that a modern day leader would need to succeed today like Dr. King did in his time are speaking eloquently, and from the heart,” said Brown, 21, of Louisville, Ohio. “Someone who peacefully speaks their mind and is respectful. Someone who takes direct action through negotiation, like Dr. King, and not through violence or negativity.” 

Brown credited her ethics class and also her late uncle, who gave her and her family very simple but powerful advice before he passed away.

“He said to us, ‘Be kind. Always be kind. And understanding. And respectful,’” she said. “It was the best advice I’d ever heard.”

Additional Essay Winners
2nd Place, $75 - Daphnie Neal, Tallmadge, Ohio
3rd Place, $50 - Tyree Lewis, Canton, Ohio


Hear Samantha read an excerpt of her winning essay:


Pictured left to right: Dean Denise A. Seachrist, Tyree Lewis, Daphnie Neal and Associate Dean A. Bathi Kasturiarachi.


POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2017 - 4:04pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 13, 2017 - 4:04pm
Laura M. Massie