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6th grade students pay homage to Black icons & recreate famous book covers for Black History Month

Claudine Varela
Feb 13, 2019
05:35 A.M.
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Michelle Obama and Malcolm X's book covers were among those recreated by sixth-grade students of a school in Wisconsin in celebration of Black History Month. See the amazing results of their month-long project.

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In celebration of Black History Month, a group of sixth graders recreated famous book covers of influential Black figures in honor of these people who’ve made an impact in Black history.

Michelle Obama and Malcolm X were among the icons students of Milwaukee College Prep School in Wisconsin paid tribute to in their school’s month-long tribute.

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Obama’s book cover for her memoir “Becoming” was recreated by a little girl who fashioned the same hand-under-the-chin pose of the former first lady wearing a similar white blouse sans the peeking shoulder.

Meanwhile, a young boy put on Malcolm X’s dark-rimmed eyeglasses and wore a black suit to capture the activitst’s cover for his book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

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AN ANNUAL TRADITION

According to their teacher, Terrance Sims Jr., the tributes which have become an annual tradition aims to instill in students an awareness and appreciation of their culture. He told People,

“I think it’s extremely important for students to know and embrace their culture.”

He adds,

“It is who we are, and when we know who we are we can flourish around others different from us. Learning to love ourselves builds self-esteem and allows us to be successful and happy people.”

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Sims makes it a point for his students to come up with a project honoring Black people in this time of the year. The theme for this year is “Representation is Key.” The idea of recreating book covers came from the students themselves who recently started a book club.

Among other icons they’ve featured in recreated photos are Assata Shakur, Stevie Wonder, and Biggie Smalls. By the end of the month, the students are expected to have recreated at least 30 cover photos of Black icons.

MORE THAN JUST A CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY

Sims is happy that the students are excited about the project because it also encourages them to read more. Sims tells HelloGIggles,

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“More and more want to get involved and that means more and more of my students want to read. They are excited that the public appreciates their work and they are excited to see their reading come to life."

A FEW FACTS ABOUT BLACK HISTORY MONTH

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Black History Month was established in the 1970’s to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and to recognize their role in US history. It originated from historian Carter G. Woodrow’s Negro History Week which began in 1926 and was assigned around the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas in the second week of February. Since 1976, the event was relabeled Black History Month and celebrated the whole month of February.

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A FILM CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY RETURNS

Hollywood is paying homage to Black History Month this year with the return of “Black Panther” in the big screen. The all-Black film is one of the greatest achievements of Black filmmakers in Hollywood history. It won the top prize at the Screen Actor’s Guild awards and is currently nominated for best picture in the Oscar’s, among 6 other nominations. The Marvel film also holds the title of being the first superhero film to be recognized in the best picture category.

The film which is now one of the highest grossing films of all time will be shown in 250 AMC theaters for free.

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