Local nonprofit rolls out series of Kijana Heroes posters for Black History Month

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Students at Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach help organize a history lesson. Posters of African and African American male and female heroes are the subjects.

Teacher Denise Lawrence gives instructions.

“Having the opportunity to do research to learn more about these people and understand exactly what their contributions have been. Some of them had to sacrifice their lives for various causes and just being able to connect with them is an opportunity inspiration,” she said. .

the Kijana Heroes Poster Series consists of 37 inspiring historical and contemporary figures. People like aviator Bessie Coleman, civil rights activist Medgar Evers to women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

The posters are the brainchild of Jim Cummings.

“A lot of it was stories that spoke to me. People who I thought were particularly notable or whose stories were interesting. And I was also trying to look for people whose stories I didn’t think were known.” , did he declare.

To create the poster series, Cummings teamed up with graphic designer Claire Salmon.

“She did the first one and I was like wow! It was better than I could dream of and we did a handful more and then a handful more,” he said.

Salmon said there’s a pressure that comes with a white artist doing black portraits of such influential people. she said it took a lot of thought and study.

“I would pause and even think about the expression I gave them. Like most photos, I have of them smiling but if their road was an exhausting and tragic place, I don’t want to put that face in forward if it doesn’t represent their journey,” she said.

Cummings said she wanted to help communities learn about these personalities. He hopes to inspire not just schools, but other organizations and individuals to use the posters as an educational tool and have an impact beyond Black History Month.

Throughout February, the posters will be displayed at schools in Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Cultural Counciland the Riviera Beach Town Hall.

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