Each year, teens from across the country compete as part of National History Day. A young man named Simon competed in Wisconsin, recreating John Trudell’s historic broadcast from Alcatraz in the late 1960s, that began as a way to give a voice to the of Native Americans.
This is impressive enough, but there was a certain prop that made his performance even more authentic: the exact microphone Trudell used, as a loan from Full Compass CEO Jonathan Lipp.
This year’s theme was “Taking a Stand in History.” According to National History Day, “The theme is broad to encourage participants to delve into history, whether it be a topic from the ancient world or the history of their own city. Students need to begin research with secondary sources to gain a broader context, then progress to finding primary sources, and finally make an argument about the effects of a topic in history.”
John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor and activist. Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indian of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971. He then worked with the American Indian Movement (AIM), serving as Chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979.
The authenticity certainly helped, but Simon took his performance all the way to the top– he qualified for the National Competition in Washington, D.C.! He competed earlier this month, and we are eager to find out how he did! We will update this story when that information becomes available.