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5-year-old girl recreates iconic photos of notable black women for Black History Month

KENT, Wash. -- Lola is barely old enough to write the letters N-A-A-C-P yet bears a striking resemblance to its founder and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells.

It's all part of an educational, and empowering project her mother helped bring to life.

With the aid of props from around their home in Kent - wigs, a bonnet, her mother's cellphone, artsy eye and photo apps - Lola has transformed into some of the most admired and notable black women in history.

Cristi, Lola's mother, says Lola was enthralled by a video on Martin Luther King, Jr. shown in school last month. Cristi turned that into an opportunity to teach her child more about civil rights.

Since Lola loves dressing up, her mother says she decided it would be fun to educate her daughter about black history by having her actually become the women she was learning about.

"And it is extremely helpful that Lola truly emulates the women she's portraying," Cristi says. "She gets into character and just nails it."

Wearing an Afro wig and a powerful pose, the kindergartner shares a likeness to political activist Angela Davis.

Donning a braid on her head and arrest number in her hands, Lola mimics the mug shot of Rosa Parks.

She pulls off politician Shirley Chisholm, felt pretty as singer Josephine Baker, now wants to write poetry like Maya Angelou, and didn't want to remove the aviator hat she used to mirror a photograph of Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African American descent to hold a pilot license.

Lola is often a quiet and serious student, but her mother says she’s blossomed since they started their Black History Month project.

Cristi told KOMO News' Gabe Cohen:

“The idea of giving her some people who did really brave, cool things to look up to felt important to me,” Cristi said. “She’s shy and a little bit meek in social setting, so I thought maybe if she find out about these women who fought for rights or stood up for themselves maybe she’ll learn about confidence and bravery.”

The kindergartener's teacher has remarked that she’s more confident, and talking more in class.

“I have these amazing women to thank for helping my daughter feel powerful,” Cristi says. “I have learned much more about the tenacity and courage of the women we are featuring, and also about the importance of children having a positive role model.”

Each day of February on Facebook, Cristi has posted about a prominent black woman, and accompanies it with a photo of her child next to a picture of the woman.

The one Lola talks about the most is scientist and astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison.

Jones says imitating and discussing Jemison taught the 5 year old she “can be anything you want to be.”

“You hope that your kid grows up to do incredible things,” Cristi said. “And having examples for them just kind of guides them.”

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