Langston Hughes. Jesse Owens. Dr. Ben Carson. These are just some of the historic figures portrayed by DePaul Catholic middle school students in The DePaul Catholic Wax Museum during Black History Month.
Students dressed as famous African Americans, then stood in the school hallway, posing as wax figures. When visitors approached, the wax figures would “come to life” to tell their stories.
Chisom, portrayed Jesse Owens, teaching us that Owens won four Gold Medals at the 1936 Olympics, held in Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Imagine what that evil promoter of Aryan supremacy thought as he watched a black man flying past him, running like the wind.
Amir, portrayed Langston Hughes, teaching us that although this future poet was once homeless, he ended up in a school for gifted children. As he watched a poor man eat from a trash can, he was inspired to write his most famous poem,“Hold fast to dreams/For if dreams die/Life is a broken-winged bird/Who cannot fly.”
Samia, portrayed Satchel Paige, teaching us that Paige’s destitute family had so many children that his mother did not remember his date of birth. Sent to reform school for shoplifting, his gift for baseball was discovered by a supervisor there. The man became his mentor, and Paige went on to become a professional ball player and Hall of Famer.
Black history is American history. In telling the stories of their heroes, DePaul Catholic students showcased the power of perseverance, determination and grit. These qualities not only help us to overcome adversity, but to fly.