Essay Contest

Any resident of Proviso Township who is at least 16 years old will be able to submit an entry into the One Book, One Proviso essay contest. The winning essay will be published by the Village Free Press and the winning contestant will receive $1,000 (if we receive enough valid entries).

Essay Contest Guidelines 


  • To participate, you must be at least 16 years old, a resident of Proviso Township, actively engaged with Black Against Empire and interested in the life and legacy of Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers. The contest winner will be required to provide valid ID and proof of residency in order to secure the cash prize.
  • There must be at least 25 valid entries in the contest before the cash prize goes into effect.

Submission Dates

  • Entries will be accepted from Nov. 1 through Dec. 4. All submissions must be emailed to by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. They must be submitted in the body of the email. Subject: One Book Essay Contest.


  • All submissions must include the full name, age, address, daytime phone number and email of the person who has submitted the entry. This information must be at the bottom of the essay. All submissions must have a title that is in bold font.
  • Word limit: 700 (does not include title).
  • The font size and style must be legible.
  • We will only accept one contest submission per person.

Essay Prompt 

  • Each essay must answer the following question: “How relevant are the politics of Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party in 2019?”


  • Essays will be kept anonymous and evaluated by a panel of judges.
  • Essays will be judged on originality of thought, creativity, grammar, spelling, logic, clarity, writing style, content and a demonstrated engagement both with aspects of Fred Hampton’s life and Black Against Empire. Note: You do not necessarily have to read all of the book to show that you’ve seriously grappled with it.
  • All decisions of the judges are final.


  • Winners will be announced in mid-December and announced at and shortly thereafter.


  • The winning essay will also be published at and in the Village Free Press (online and in the weekly print newspaper).
  • The winner of the essay contest will receive a $1,000 check written in his or her name ONLY if there are at least 25 valid submissions.