Black History Month Art at GCAA

[The following article was written by GCAA 6th Grader Elise Palmer, a member of the GCAA Website Reporting Club; photos were by JuJu Vieth--click on the photo images for higher-res versions]. ] GCAA was able to host an art display regarding Missouri's African-American history as part of Black History Month. The signage came to us from Grand Center Incorporated where it had been used as part of First Night/Freedom's Eve. The signs tell us amazing things that happened in Missouri, accomplishments by African Americans. Here were a few I found really interesting and thought all my artistic friends at GCAA might too. 1834 - William Wells Brown escaped slavery in St. Louis and later became an abolitionist and America's first African American novelist. Now I need to find out the name of his novel and read it. Scott Joplin the "King of Ragtime" lived in Sedalia Missouri, where he published the Maple Leaf Rag in 1899 and he later lived in St. Louis and performed at the 1904 World's Fair. I've heard Scott Joplin's music before, have you? I know there are some students working in the GCAA orchestra room on some great jazz. How about another name that you might know: a famous African-American women Josephine Baker, an international dancer and singer was born in 1906 in the St. Louis Mill creek bottom area. Of course she is so famous there is even a street named after her not too far from school. But honestly, I haven't heard her music before, there is something else to check out at the library. In 1963 DeVerne Calloway was elected the first African-American woman Representative to the Missouri legislature. Unfortunately she died in 1993 and didn't get to see that we would one day have an African-American President of the United States. Here is an exciting advancement in science: In 1992, Dr. Manny Johns was the first African-American woman to travel into outer space. How cool is that? I learned some important things from the signs in our building and now I need to go and research more.