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Living History Museum Caps Black History Month

Famous African Americans stepped out of the history books and times past Thursday afternoon and into classrooms at Chukker Creek Elementary.

During the school's first Black History Month Living History Museum, students from kindergarten to fifth grade portrayed African American politicians, entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, actors, actresses and entertainers who have contributed to American life and culture and told their classmates about their accomplishments and achievements.

Wearing a golden, feathered boa, Diana Ross sat in the gym waiting to tell her story as the lead singer of The Supremes and as an international solo superstar. In the music room, sports legend Michael Jordan sat on a basketball to tell his story, and Nina Simone, with mic in hand, perched on a piano bench to talk about being a jazz singer and Civil Rights activist.

“The students are taking on the roles of prominent African Americans throughout history,” school counselor Aretha Tarver, who helped coordinate the museum, said. “They're going to come to life and give people a short history lesson so that they'll be more familiar with some of the contributions African Americans have made to society.”

Students also portrayed W.E.B. DuBois, Madam C.J. Walker, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama and many others.

Two students from each homeroom portrayed a famous person from history. The older students researched their characters, and teachers helped the younger students.

As their classmates walked through the museum, they could touch each character's thumb for a short history lesson.

The living history lesson, along with a program featuring a step team, dramatic skit and chorus performance earlier Thursday, capped a month-long celebration of Black History at Chukker Creek.

“There's so much to cover in a month, and they've been learning throughout the month,” Tarver said. “In the morning news, they've been hearing about different African Americans, and they've been learning in their classrooms. Even if they weren't acting today, they helped with the research.”

Click here to read the full Aiken Standard article. 

Larry Wood/Aiken Standard
Photo by Cindy Kubovic