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Black History Festival this Saturday
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 Newton High School will host a Black History Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The event is co-sponsored by Springfield Baptist Church, the Newton County Minister's Union and Newton County Board of Education.

Billie Cox, minister for Springfield Baptist Church, said the festival has activities for all ages.

"We have four high schools and four middle schools coming together," Cox said.

Students from Clements, Cousins, Indian Creek and Veterans Memorial middle schools and Alcovy, Eastside and Newton high schools will compete along with students from Salem High School in Rockdale County in a number of academic competitions.

Organizers of the event have selected several judges to review essay contest entries as well as the history bowl and debate competitions.

"For the history bowl we'll have a sort of game show host and conduct it as if we're doing 'Jeopardy' or 'Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader,'" Cox said.

Debate teams have already been supplied their prompts for discussion.

Middle school debate teams will answer whether they believe one person can make a difference in another's life as well as whether they agree with schools' mandating student uniforms.

High school students will discuss whether hip-hop music in its rawest form is detrimental to today's youth and why the African-American vote is sacred.

"I can't wait to hear that part," Cox said.

Winners will receive monetary prizes as well as individual trophies and grand prize trophies will go to the winning team's school in each category.

Also, students from Springfield Baptist, Pleasant View Baptist and Newton High School will give demonstrations of their step team's moves.

A spoken word performance will be given, and a drama performance will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Food vendors will provide refreshments to attendees and representatives of local government, the health department and police department will be on hand to answer any questions posed to them.

Representatives of the health clinic at Solid Rock Baptist Church will provide attendees with information as well as complimentary general health screenings.

A voter registration drive will also take place in preparation for county elections and the presidential election in November.

"It is one way that we wanted to expose the county's resources," Cox said. "It's not just about African-American history. We have so many newcomers that we wanted them to know what's here."