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baltimoresun.com

Hillcrest Elementary wins Black Saga county championship

By Julie Baughman, jbaughman@tribune.com

2:01 PM EST, February 27, 2013

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Hillcrest Elementary School finished in first place at the Baltimore County Public School’s Black Saga Competition last weekend.

The school sent two teams to the Feb. 23 competition at Randallstown High School. One was named champion and the other placed fourth of the 10 teams present.

The best 10 teams from numerous preliminary competitions advanced to the county championships.

“It’s exciting. I’m very proud of the students,” said Lisa Black, Black Saga coordinator at Hillcrest.

Black Saga is the brainchild of Charles Christian, a professor at Coppin State University and author of “Black Saga: The African American Experience” and has been a county competition since the 2003-2004 school year, according to a county press release.

Black said students must memorize 400 facts in addition to photographs, famous quotes, locations and court cases relating to black history for the event. At the competition, teams are only asked 10 to 12 questions from that bank of information.

“You’ve got to know them all because you don’t know what they’re going to pick,” Black said.

She said she enjoyed watching the six students, three on each team, collaborate to produce answers to the questions they have been studying since the fall.

“In the competition they were very supportive of each other,” Black said. “They talked their questions over before they gave their answer.”

This is the third consecutive year Hillcrest has won the county championships and Black said both teams will go to the statewide competition Saturday March 16 at in Towson.