US

Black teen wins essay contest on topic of white privilege

In this photo provided by Trey Ellis, his son Chet poses for a photo Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Westport, Conn. Ellis a sophomore at Staples High School who wrote about his experience growing up in an affluent, predominantly white town, was named the winner Monday night of the town's essay contest on the topic of white privilege. (Tommy Fabian/Courtesy of Trey Ellis via AP)

In this photo provided by Trey Ellis, his son Chet poses for a photo Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Westport, Conn. Ellis a sophomore at Staples High School who wrote about his experience growing up in an affluent, predominantly white town, was named the winner Monday night of the town's essay contest on the topic of white privilege. (Tommy Fabian/Courtesy of Trey Ellis via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A black teenager who wrote about the "unavoidable" racial issues he faces growing up in an affluent, predominantly white Connecticut town has won an essay contest on the topic of white privilege.

The winner, Chet Ellis, is a 15-year-old sophomore at Staples High School in Westport.

He wrote about being followed around by a manager inside a store, and he described a discussion one day during track practice on getting into college when a white friend told him he would have no problem because he's black.

The annual essay contest, put on by the town's diversity council and the Westport Library, aims to prompt discussion of multicultural issues in the shoreline community that is 93 percent white.

Chet was awarded the $1,000 top prize at a ceremony Monday night.