Victoria Elizabeth Black (Tori Beth) won the National American Legion Oratorical Contest and $18,000 college scholarship in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 11, 2010. She began the journey at her local Post 44, the Leverette-Thomas American Legion Post in Iva, S.C. in the January competition. She continued to advance to Zone, State and finally Nationals! The National Competition was incredible as the 53 contestants, all completely prepared, and delivered 8-10 minute orations on the Constitution of the United States of America, along with a 3-5 minute impromptu speech drawn during each round.
Tori Beth’s family was first introduced to the competition in 2003 when all 6 members of her family were invited by Easley’s debate Coach Deb Edson to attend the Easley American Legion Post Oratorical Contest. Legionnaire Norman Bell invited Mrs. Edson’s entire debate class/club to participate and become involved with the Legion’s events. For the next 5 years, Mr. Bell contacted Mrs. Edson each fall and enthusiastically encouraged her to enter her students, whether they competed at the Easley Post or at their local American Legion Post.
Immediately, after watching Easley student Caleb Farrier, the 1st home schooled student to enter the Oratorical competition at the Easley Post, claim the Easley contest title, the Don Black family decided to make the Oratorical Contest part of their Home schooling curriculum for each child. All 4 students were required to participate their junior and senior year in their local contest. All three of Tori Beth’s siblings did well and advanced after their Iva Post contest, some to zone and even state. Tori Beth continued to Nationals and delivered her winning speech titled “A Rising Sun.”
On April 20, 2010, The Anderson County Council presented Tori Beth with a resolution commending Tori Beth Black for receiving an $18,000 Scholarship upon winning the National American Legion Oratorical Contest where she was able to use her exemplary knowledge of the United States Constitution.
Tori Beth Black was recognized and presented a special award at the recent American Legion Department of South Carolina Convention held in Greenville. She told the Convention Delegates some of the interesting facts she found while doing research work concerning the early beginnings of the U.S. Constitution.
Tori Beth is the granddaughter of Wyatt and Betty Duncan and Heyward and Frances Black of the Powdersville area of Greenville S.C.