Seventh grader Jerusha Kinyanjui as Bessie Coleman
Living Wax Museum
Presented During African-American History Month
In celebration of African-American History Month, students in Ms. Tamera Carter's seventh grade Language Arts class participated in creating a Living Wax Museum honoring unsung heroes in African-American culture. Ms. Carter created a list of African-Americans who are not usually profiled, but have contributed to the fabric of America. Some of those individuals included Doris Miller, the first African-American to be awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery during the Pearl Harbor attack; Baseball Hall of Famer Josh Gibson, considered to be one of the greatest players in all of baseball; Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month; and Bessie Coleman, the first African-American female to hold a pilot's license.
Students selected their person of interest from the list and then researched their life, using Simmons' library as well as online resources. From the information they gathered, students wrote speeches, which they practiced for weeks to memorize. Students then “became” their famous person, embodying a characterization of that person, including costuming and props.
On February 28, students and teachers throughout the school were welcomed to this visual display. Visitors to the “living museum” were able to walk around, tour the exhibits and listen to the students presentations, highlighting the significance of the brave and successful, lesser-known, African-Americans who helped to contribute in compelling ways.