When it comes to teaching children about history, the go-to strategy for most adults is to whip out the schoolbooks and save playtime for later. However, when Janine Harper and her husband Marc Bushelle wanted to teach their daughter Lily about Black History Month, they decided to merge the two in a dress-up photo project. As these pictures show, the result is both adorable and inspiring.
According to NPR
, the New York couple had the idea after seeing a similar photo series
wherein a mother snapped her young daughter dressed up as female role models, like Amelia Earhart and Susan B. Anthony. Lily's parents used the same concept, but tailored their teaching to a variety of African-American heroines: author Toni Morrison, singer and actress Grace Jones, and the astronaut Mae Jemison among them.
Starting in January, the family would come together for a history lesson, and then stage an accompanying photo shoot complete with costumes like a Grace Jones-esque mask or an astronaut outfit. Bushelle photographed Lily in costume and created diptychs of her next to the original role model. As the couple explained to NPR, their goal is for Lily to "see herself in the story" of Black history. "It is always challenging when trying to explain complex things to a child," Bushelle said. "I feel that turning a history lesson into a dress-up game is a good way to approach it."
Bushelle originally intended for the project to only go through February, but due to the images' popularity, the family has decided to continue. Click through the slideshow for a preview, and visit Bushelle's Facebook page
for more updates. Watching the legacies of these powerful women live on in a new generation is a pretty inspiring thing. (NPR