Remembering the 1936 National Spelling Bee and how hatred eliminated a bright young girl – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-07-19 16:28:02 –

Akron, Ohio — Last week, 14-year-old Zaira Avant-garde, after correctly spelling the word “murraya,” brought back the trophy and became the first African-American winner of the National Spelling Bee.The moment was exciting and groundbreaking, but I was excited again. History behind the journey Until the moment you should always remember.

Only 11 years after the launch of the National Spelling Bee, in 1936, the 13-year-old MacNolia Cox from Akron was a spelling genius with IQ.

Cox was qualified for the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, but getting there wasn’t easy and he didn’t have time to compete with bees.

With racism and Jim Crow laws still in full swing, Cox and another black kid, 15-year-old Elizabeth Kenny from New Jersey, travels to National Spelling Bee in a “colored” train car. I was forced to. I couldn’t stay at the hotel with other contestants and had to use the back door of the arena to enter the bees, forcing me to sit at the card table once inside.

Still, despite the difficulties she faced, Cox became the first African-American finalist in the Top 5, extensively studying the 100,000-word list given to all bee spellers to win. I was on the road.

Cox overcame the obstacles in her way, but was all white Southerners and could not overcome the judge’s heart hatred, which he had seen enough from Akron’s young black girl.

A. Van Jordan, author of “MACNOLIA,” said what happened next was a sneaky move from a bee judge.

“They pulled a word that wasn’t on the list, and you can’t make up for this: the word was a nemesis,” Van Jordan said.

The word has just transitioned to a popular word, most defined at the time as the Greek goddess of retaliation, a proper noun that should have been an ineligible word, but judges have called it a general noun. Claimed to be usable as.

Cox misspelled an unapproved word and was excluded from the bees.

The girl who dreamed of becoming a doctor was limited by the time she lived. She became a doctor’s house and died of cancer at the age of 53.

Cox faced many difficulties in her life. One of them took place on the spectacular stage of the National Spelling Bee in 1936. But her hardships have reminded us of where and where we once came. Zyra was the spelling bee champion and brought Cox’s pioneering lap years later.

“When you look at young people, you really need to encourage them. Something that might happen at that stage of their life can’t disappear and can change the course of their life.” Said Van Jordan.

What doesn’t disappear now is a way to remind us of the moment Zyra brought victory, the moment it came before, and the Cox-like people who paved the way. And she said she was thinking about the latest National Spelling Bee champion the night MacNolia Cox won everything.

This story was originally published by Rob Powers and Camry Justice of WEWS.

Remembering the 1936 National Spelling Bee and how hatred eliminated a bright young girl Source link Remembering the 1936 National Spelling Bee and how hatred eliminated a bright young girl

Back to top button