IF YOU GO
* What: "Black History Living Museum: From Slavery, To Glory"
* When: Art Gallery each night from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.; presentation each night from 6:30 to 7 p.m.
* Where: Monday at North Chattanooga Recreation Center, 406 May St.; Tuesday at Carver Recreation Center, 600 N. Orchard Knob Ave.; Thursday at Eastdale Recreation Center, 1312 Moss Drive; Friday at Shepherd Recreation Center, 2124 Shepherd Road.
A museum about black history will be moving through Chattanooga next week.
Youth and staff from five Chattanooga recreation centers will present a four-night presentation -- "A Black History Living Museum: From Slavery, to Glory" -- in recognition of Black History Month.
"It's a black history traveling museum," said Ivy Strickland, facility manager at Shepherd Recreation Center and writer of the play, which starts with Normal Park School students Dieudone Harerimana and Edimo Nintereste David Nikiza speaking in an African dialect about kings and queens of Africa.
Narrator Caderious Scott will read a translation of the dialogue and talk about the African continent, home to hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who were sold as slaves in the U.S. until slavery was abolished in 1865 by the 13th Amendment.
About 15 children are participating in the play, Strickland said.
"We weren't taught a lot of history in school and I'm not sure if they're taught that now," said Ed Odom, facility manager at the Glenwood Recreation Center. "This is a good forum to educate them."
Not only will the youth see history makers, they will see and hear role models, said Brian Smith, public relations coordinator for the Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department.
The children are playing characters who have struggled and may be inspired by their characters, said Smith.
"It's a great way to learn about history. We're going from slavery to President (Barack) Obama," he said.
Some slaves didn't wait for freedom to be declared -- they took it, said Strickland. Harriet Tubman, played by 17-year-old Ajai McReynolds, escaped to freedom, then returned to plantations to free more than 300 others.
"History makes me respect myself and my elders," said McReynolds, who attends Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts. "It opens my eyes."
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...