Bringing Black History to life for area students

Posted at 2:44 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 14:43:13-04

Throughout the month of February, the Durham Museum is bringing Black History to life. 


For 381 days in 1955 into 1956, African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama boycotted the bus system following the arrest of Rosa Parks. 


Recently, the Durham Museum brought their “Scholars and Residents” program to St. Margaret Mary for students to see firsthand how Rosa Parks’ actions that day in 1955 sparked the first major demonstration against segregation in the United States.    


“Rosa I believe was so tired of giving in and being treated wrong, that she felt like she was doing something for the cause,” said Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux.


“But, she didn't realize what it was going to cost her.”


Rosa Parks is just one of the many characters’ actress Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux portrays. 


She loves performing for the kids. 


“Children actually learn; they listen more. They are so used to looking at TV, so now they are looking at me live,” Waddy-Thibodeaux added.


St. Margaret Mary Catholic School Assistant Principal and Fourth Grade Teacher Joanna Meysenburg says the presentation fits perfectly with her school’s curriculum. 


“You just get to that point where you realize there needs to be a change. It needs to stop.  That was powerful for the kids to see that,” said Meysenburg. 


Maysenburg says it was also great to see the kids so engaged. 


“I’m proud as a teacher to see that they knew the facts, but then they also knew that it took courage to do what she did,” said Meysenburg. 


It’s a powerful history lesson the students won’t forget. 


“Never give in children, always fight and never give in.  Children always fight for what you believe in.  And that is my story, the story of Rosa Parks,” said Waddy-Thibodeaux.