Dressed as athletes, teachers, celebrities and politicians Grandview Middle School students took on the persona of historical figures in early March to teach their classmates about Black History Month and a number of cultural icons who were African American.

Jerome Morris, social studies teacher at Grandview, brought the idea to the school to host a Living Black History Wax Museum.

Morris said he wanted his students to have an opportunity to see and learn about people who had an impact on the world and who also look like them, so for Black History Month in February he asked his students to research someone who had an impact on black history.

The students mounted their projects on a display that included pictures, interesting facts and props. Many of the students also dressed up as their historical figure.

During the event, other students at the school could approach them and ask questions about their project.

Famous people featured in the museum included Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Kobe Bryant and Beyoncé Knowles.

Tori Burton, a seventh-grader, said she chose Dorothy Cotton for her research project. Burton said she choose Cotton because she was from North Carolina.

Janelie Martinez said she likes learning about astronauts so she chose Mae C. Jemison who was the first black woman to travel to space.

Morris said a lot of time students are given a Eurocentric perspective of history and don’t get many opportunities to learn about historical figures found in black history.

“What most people don’t realize is that black history is history. Asian history is history. White history is history,” Morris said.

Morris said he wants to make education relative to his students. “Black history is history and people need a better perspective on it,” he said. “Black history is important to everybody.”

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