The students at Barack Obama School of Leadership and STEM marked Black History Month with song, dance and a “living museum” that brought famous African Americans to life. Among the famous historical figures portrayed were Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr., Nina Simone, Dr. Charles Drew, President Barack Obama, and the three women recently portrayed in the film, “Hidden Figures”: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson.
Barack Obama School student Amari Rush portrayed Dr. Charles Drew. Amari explained in his presentation that Dr. Drew was an African American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. Dr. Drew researched in the field of blood transfusions and developed improved techniques for blood storage. He applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. Amari noted that Dr. Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation.
As Sojourner Truth, Barack Obama student Mya Looney gave a brief history of slavery and of Sojourner Truth to the audience assembled at the school’s Black History program. She noted that Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. She was born into slavery, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826.
NASA scientists and mathematicians Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Katherine Johnson were portrayed by Barack Obama School students, from left, Amaya Hambright, Sandra Rhodes and Naysa Kokui Nunekpeku during the school’s Black History program. The three students gave an overview of the women’s work at NASA and their roles in astronauts’ successful flights in space.
The Obama Schools Steppers paid homage to African American fraternities and sororities during Barack Obama School’s Black History program. Among the Steppers were, from left, Kevon Carter, Mya Looney, Sarah Franklin, Alyssa Lane, and Courtney White.