Debate Team Stays on Top
By Faith Ajayi
McKinley's debate team is having another stellar year. They won first place in Sweepstakes point, which is the combined points of all debaters. McKinley is last year's defending city champion and they finished first place in every tournament this year so far.
On January 19, McKinley debated on the merits of civil disobedience in the name of a higher justice, the same debate featured in the movie "The Great Debaters." The Omega Psi Phi fraternity founded at Howard University hosted the debate, which was judged by African American professionals. Ikechukwu Umez-Eronini came in first place and won $100 as a top speaker. Alexis Harris came in second place with $75 and Revon Pauling in fourth place with $25. For the top teams, Faith Roberts and Riah Williams came in second place and won $75 each. Lloyd Mann, Revon Pauling, and Attiyah Blackson-El came in fourth place with $25 each.
"Debate is a blood sport and a good debater has to be brave and be able to defend his or her point thoroughly without backing down," said Angela. Lubkeman. "It really helps to learn more about world history."
The debate team is composed of a policy team (two-person team) and a Public Form (three-person team). The coach of the team is Mr. Mark Roberts. The two current members of the policy team are Dajuan Patterson and Angela Lubkeman.
"What's good about debate is that in order to be a good debater you have to plug into the world. You have to be willing to bring passion into ideas even when you don't care about them," said Mr. Roberts.
The McKinley debate team has mastered this skill. Bilal Cook, Elyse Anderson, and Isaiah Guinyard are the strongest team in the public form. They have never lost a match to any debate team in Washington, D.C.
The debaters compete against other high schools in the District of Columbia. They debate every month and the debates are based on educational, political, international, and District issues. They research both the positive and negative aspects of the topic, and debate amongst themselves. They have to be masters on both sides of the topic assigned to them, because until they arrive at the competition, they do not know if they will argue for the affirmative or the negative.
Lloyd Mann chose to be a debater because of the knowledge he gains daily. "The topics we get are good and they are everyday topics. If I did not take debate, I would know nothing of these issues. They are issues the average person in the hallway doesn't know about," he said. "If you take debate you know what is going on in the world."
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: rina | March 6, 2008 11:12 PM
Posted by: former English teacher | April 10, 2008 12:22 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.