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Members of the Lycoming College Black Student Union and two faculty advisers recently traveled to Baltimore, Md., to visit the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. The students were accompanied by Seth Goodman, assistant professor of art, and Michael Darough, visiting assistant professor of art.
According to club president Sifa Blackmon, a junior graphic design and photography major, the idea to go to a museum was from one of the club’s general members, Olivia Coleman. Other students who went were Kristina Conaway, Marylynn Ryan and Emereis McKelvey.
“I found the Great Blacks in Wax Museum online and I thought it would be an interesting and fun way for the club members to get a sense of their history, the struggles, hardships and the triumphs immortalized in wax,” Blackmon said. “I think the most interesting part of the trip, for me, were the wax statues that we saw in the museum. I don’t think I expected for them to feel so lifelike and detailed as they were.”
Blackmon said the group got to go through a replica of a slave ship. “Between the information and stories presented – the sounds we heard and the figures depicted inside – there was this wave of sorrow, not just for the experience that our ancestors went through, but the realization of how easy it is to forget these moments that made up our past,” she said. “To forget the blood and tears shed over the years. In my opinion, it made me more appreciative of my life and the experiences that I have had in my time.”
During the trip, the students also visited downtown and the inner harbor, which Blackmon said was a lot of fun.
“It was nice to just enjoy the nice weather and laid-back atmosphere with everyone, especially with all the stress from classes,” she said. “All of the attractions and sites that the harbor hosted were really fun to watch and check out.”
The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is among the nation’s most dynamic cultural and educational institutions. Because it is a wax museum committed solely to the study and preservation of African-American history, it is also among the most unique. Primarily, the presentation of life-size, life-like wax figures highlighting historical and contemporary personalities of African ancestry defines its uniqueness.
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.
From left are faculty adviser Seth Goodman, Kristina Conaway, adviser Michael Darough, Marylynn Ryan and Emereis McKelvey.
Black Student Union members Kristina Conaway, Emereis McKelvey and Marylynn Ryan at Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Baltimore, Md.