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12th Annual Blacks in Wax: The Power of One

Monday, March 12, 2018
DC Youth Portray Icons in Powerful Performance

DPR Customer Service: (202) 673-7647
DPR Media Contacts: 
Michael Tucker Jr., (202) 717-4242, [email protected]
Gregory Jackson Jr., (202) 714-9550, [email protected]

(Washington, DC) - The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), the Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC) founded by Ms. Cora Masters Barry, will again bring iconic figures to life through performances by the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC) tennis youth scholars for the 12th Annual Blacks in Wax. The ARC Theater and the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts will host headlining performances of the Blacks in Wax in March.

Blacks in Wax is a creative production of vignettes that educate and entertain all ages through dance, music, and drama. Each year young performers breathe new life into American heroes from the worlds of sports, entertainment, activism, politics and literature.

This year’s theme and vignette, “The Power of One,” shines a spotlight on individuals who spoke truth to power and ignited a movement; a celebration of those who with their words and actions took a stand for others.

Women take center stage with National Women’s History Month as the performances’ backdrop. The Southeast Tennis and Learning Center scholars will portray famous women such as Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, and Cathy Hughes. As well as educating the audience to possibly lesser known history makers like Mamie Till, Jo Ann Robinson, Dr. Julianne Malveaux and April Ryan. Other famous portrayals this year include: Colin Kaepernick, Jose Andres and James Brown.

“Blacks in Wax continues to be a highlight of my year, I am so excited to see and hear what messages our young people will give through their portrayals of these historic figures,” says DPR Director Keith A. Anderson. “I am always in awe.”

What began as an alternative method of educating youth about African-American history, has become one of DPR’s most successful programs stretching beyond ethnic backgrounds. The Southeast Tennis and Learning Center scholars have performed for audiences across the nation as well as the White House. Characters have ranged from abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman to the King of Pop Michael Jackson. The performances have a lasting cultural and artistic impact on audiences of all ages.

Ms. Cora Masters Barry states, “Blacks in Wax is a huge undertaking every year. There is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into putting on this production. But when I see the transformation of the youth from themselves to an iconic historical figure, I know it’s worth every painstaking moment.”

12th Annual Blacks in Wax Washington, D.C. Performances:

Friday, March 16, 2018
1:00 p.m. for schools and seniors / 6:00 p.m. open to public
1901 Mississippi Avenue, SE

Saturday, March 24, 2018
6:00 p.m. open to public
John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts
2700 F St. NW

For reservations, please visit Press interested in attending contact [email protected].  


About DPR

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) provides quality urban recreation and leisure services for residents and visitors to the District of Columbia. DPR supervises and maintains area parks, community facilities, swimming pools and spray parks, and neighborhood recreation centers. The agency also coordinates a wide variety of recreation and educational programs including sports leagues, youth development, therapeutic recreation, aquatic programming, outdoor adventure, camping and senior citizen activities. Adaptive programs and facilities are available for persons with disabilities.