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Project brings Black History Month to life for students

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – The halls of Edgewood High School look a little different this February. As students go to their lockers and find their way to class, they see the faces of black musicians, sports stars and lawmakers.

As part of a project in teacher John Chance’s history class, 145 posters have been hung throughout the school. Chance’s students created the signs in honor of Black History Month by choosing figures significant to them. Each poster shares key characteristics and facts about the person pictured there.

Alex Pittsford, a junior at Edgewood, wanted fellow students to get to know Satchel Paige, a pitcher who played in the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball.

“He was one of the best players to play the game,” Pittsford told The Herald-Times. “He was pretty important in the history of baseball.”

Junior Noah Babbert was drawn to Buddy Bolden, also known as the father of jazz.

“He taught himself,” Babbert said. “He has one of those sounds you can pick out anywhere. He plays clarinet like a trumpet.”

Michelle Obama, Diana Ross, Ernie Banks, George Foreman and Tiger Woods are among the figures students researched. The poster designs vary. Some include numerous photos and paragraphs describing the historic figures, while other students picked one photo as a centerpiece and provided quick eye-catching facts.

“It gives them a chance to find out about these people and how they affected the country,” Chance said. “They’ve played a tremendous role in this country’s history.”

For Chance, teaching the students about Black History Month with a creative project was a way to break the monotony and engage the students.

“It gives them a way to learn it a little differently than reading out of textbooks,” he said. “It shows how they interpret what they’ve learned.”

The posters will stay up the entire month of February to give Edgewood students and faculty an opportunity to find out more about black Americans who have made a difference and remind them that it’s Black History Month.