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BA teen to compete in National History Day in D.C.

Posted at 6:38 AM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 09:27:15-04

BROKEN ARROW — A Broken Arrow teen is about to take the national stage.

He's taking the darkest moments in our state's history and using it as a platform to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.

If you thought you knew a lot about Oklahoma history - think again.

Collin Michael, an 8th grader at Childers Middle School, is showing everyone that knowledge is power.

He's a whiz when it comes to one of the state's most significant moments in history - The Tulsa Race Massacre.

"When I was 7 years old me and my dad we were having a conversation and he told me something about a race war," said Michael.

The topic sparked Collin's interest.

It was something he, and like many Oklahoman's, had never heard of - a booming all-black community that was reduced to rubble.

An estimated 300 people were killed.

Racial tensions were to blame.

Several years later, he'd have the opportunity to take what he learned and share it through a class history day project.

Collin's teachers were impressed by his presentation and encouraged him to take it a step further by competing in a local competition, where he placed second for his exhibit on the triumph and tragedy of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre.

"I see triumph in Black Wall Street how it started and how everything was booming," said Michael. "The economy, the people, and just the businesses and the tragedy I see it being burned down in the massacre."

Collin qualified for state, studied up even more, and took his perceptions to Oklahoma City.

The 8th grader faced a panel of judges, who asked various questions and testing the history buff's knowledge.

At the end of the competition, Collin was announced the winner

"I got really quiet and then they said my name I was so excited," said Michael.

Next, Collin will compete at a national level in Washington D.C.

He says not only will he share the story that shaped a city, but a story that could shape the future.

"I think it's important because without telling the history and learning about our past, history is bound to repeat itself," said Michael.

To help Collin afford his journey to D.C., you can donate here.

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