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Knapp Charter Academy celebrates Black History Month with living wax museum

Knapp Charter Academy

Students at Grand Rapids’ Knapp Charter Academy are celebrating Black History Month in a special way – by putting on their own living wax museum

Principal Jonai’ Maddrick says the idea for a living wax museum came from the desire to teach the students at Knapp Charter Academy about Black History Month in a way that would help immerse them in the lives of historically significant individuals.

“So it’s almost essentially like them creating memories and history for themselves but while learning.”

Students were allowed to pick a person of historical importance on their own or from a list of over one hundred different individuals. They will then research that person’s accomplishments and contributions to Black history. The student will then portray the figure they chose as a living wax figure, teaching other students and their parents about their role in Black history.

“And there’s going to be a star that’s going to be placed right in front of each student and then, as the visitors come in, they’ll step on the star and that’s the cue for the student to begin to share information about their Black History Month figure that they selected.”

Some of the figures at the wax museum will include Rosa Parks, LeBron James, Malcolm X and Kamala Harris.

Maddrick says it’s an experience she hopes both students and parents think of fondly when remembering the importance of Black History Month.

“I just feel during that whole experience and them actually portraying that in word and performance almost, that’s just going to be an experience that they’re going to take with them forever.”

The Black History Month Wax Museum will take place on February 22 from 6 to 7:30pm at the Knapp Charter Academy gymnasium. The public is welcome to attend.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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