KENT, Wash. - A five-year-old girl and her mom have been reenacting portraits of prominent African-American women in celebration of Black History Month.
The images from history on the wall in Teresa Sawyer's kindergarten class at Scenic Hill Elementary School in Kent might have gone unnoticed by the kids were it not for one of their own.
“They love it, they absolutely love it. They keep asking her how she became that person, how she looks so much like that person,” Sawyer said Tuesday.
Lola Jones, 5, and her mom, Cristi, have been snapping a different photo for each day of Black History Month. Lola’s teacher displayed them in the classroom.
Lola has dressed up and posed as Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King, Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman astronaut.
“What did Dr. Jemison teach you?” Cristi asked her daughter.
“That you can be anything,” Lola replied.
Lola and Cristi came up with the idea for the portraits after Lola watched a documentary about Martin Luther King Jr. She wanted to learn more about civil rights history, and after discussing the topic with her mom, they came up with the idea for the photo project together, Jones said.
“When I started this, I had no idea it was going to blow up. I thought family and friends might enjoy this journey with us,” Jones said.
Jones' photos of her daughter have been shared far and wide on Facebook, attracting national media attention and thousands of eyes.
“Honestly, I get emotional about it because I wanted to honor these women and their legacies, and by being able to put a spotlight on them and share them with people who maybe didn't know their stories, I feel like we've been able to do that, and touch so many more people than just Lola,” Jones said.
Lola's classmates took some time each day this month to learn about the latest portrait. The final day featured two women, Michelle Obama and Condoleezza Rice.
The national president of the NAACP recently reached out to them to say thanks, Jones said. The great, great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker, one of the women they featured, also contacted them and said she would send them a book about her ancestor.