This exhibit at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore offers visitors a glimpse into what it was like for enslaved people seeking freedom along the Underground Railroad.
BALTIMORE — Kent County Middle School students participating in mentoring program boarded a bus bound for Baltimore in early November for a special museum trip.
On Thursday, Nov. 9, participants in the Achieving Academic Excellence and Equity for Black Boys (AAEEBB) program visited the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.
More than 30 students were joined on the field trip by the AAEEBB Program Coordinator Tyray Johnson and fellow middle school teachers and staff members Chanelle Copper, Desmond Hasty, Sara Moore and Delia Shoge.
The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum was the first of its kind when it opened its doors 40 years ago.
Visitors learn about "the rich history of African Americans across the continents and time, from Ancient Africa, the Middle Passage and Slavery, through civil rights and today," according to the museum's website.
"Exposure to the Museum and its programs ensures that youth and adult patrons learn more about their American heritage and gain deeper insights into significant contributions to civilization by people of African descent," the museum website states.
The middle school students' journey through time at the museum gave them an opportunity to learn about figures from an antiquity like Hannibal to Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. to present day leaders such as former President Barack Obama.
Iconic figures like former President Barack Obama and civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are on display in the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, where Kent County Middle School students took a field trip Thursday, Nov. 9.
They got to see visual representations of what it was like for freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad and they had the opportunity to tour a replica slave ship.
"Students got to experience the museum and learn about its African American history and culture," Johnson said. "It was an all-around great day for our boys."
The AAEEBB program launched several years ago at Kent County Middle School and Kent County High School with funding and guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education.
The AAEEBB program seeks to improve the outlook for adolescent Black boys who, reports show, tend to face more frequent and stringent disciplinary actions than their peers.
Through the program, students receive mentoring, participate in group activities at school and go on field trips to museums and colleges, all with the goal of ensuring their success in school and in life.
Johnson came on board at the program's launch as a mentor. Last year, he was named the AAEEBB program coordinator for the middle school.
"The AAEEBB program gives our young men a place where they get to feel comfortable to build a bond amongst each other, to have a voice to feel heard and to connect with other like-minded individuals striving for academic excellence," Johnson said.