LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Students at Long Cane Middle School brought history to life with their live Black History Month Wax Museum.
Sixth-grade students spent weeks researching and preparing for the museum, which featured several notable African American figures, including Jerry Lawson, Serena Williams, and George Washington Carver. Each student selected a historical figure to portray and created a detailed costume and display for their character.
The idea was created by one of the sixth-grade English and Language Arts teacher, Sonya Brown, who inspires her students to be creative in their learning.
“They embody these people; they choose people that they connect with. I have somebody in there who loves gaming, and he chose someone who is a gamer, and they love it,” said Sonya. “They have embodied it, they have learned facts and these are facts they are going to remember when they’re 25 because they have learned these speeches and they’ve said them so many times. They got it and they know it.”
The students set up their displays in the school’s cafeteria, where visitors were able to “meet” the characters and learn about their contributions to American history.
Sonya was overwhelmed with emotion and pride to see her students participate.
“They’re shining in front of their peers, their parents came, teachers are coming, they are shining in their light and I want them to know- they can be a light,” said Sonya.
Sixth-grader, Devin Brown, chose electronic engineer, Jerry Lawson, as his influential figure.
“I picked him because I have a passion for gaming and all sorts of gaming stuff and he actually made the first gaming console that you can actually change games,” said Devin.
Devin said his favorite part of the project was seeing how Lawson inspired others to also build better gaming consoles. He hopes to one day also become a coder or engineer.
The live wax museum is just one of the many ways the school is celebrating Black History Month. Students have also been participating in classroom discussions and activities focused on African American history and culture.
Sixth-grader, Chanity Hicks, chose African-American civil rights activist, Ruby Bridges, for her inspiring story and persistence.
“She stood out to me as an African-American woman, she was the first one to desegregate William Frantz Elementary School and that really stood out to me,” said Hicks.
Hicks was inspired by Bridges’ ability to overcome obstacles and said she also hopes to help others one day.
This was the second annual live wax museum and a project that the ELA teachers hope to continue to expand.