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A Little Rock escape room celebrates Black History Month through education

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Escape rooms give participants an hour to figure out clues and puzzles to get out of the room they are virtually locked in. At Underground Escape, in Little Rock, they use this as a way to teach history.

"Underground Escape is a social justice, or civil rights themed escape room," said Co-Founder Ericka Benedicto.

Benedicto along, with Co-Founder Juanenna Williams, said their goal is to teach an uncomfortable subject in a fun and immersive environment.

"What you're learning here is somewhat underground. You don't learn it in a traditional school setting," Williams explained.

In celebration of Black History Month, they are opening a new room called "Saving Black Wall Street."

"Black Wall Street is very important, but little known history about a prosperous African American community, in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 1900s," said Benedicto

They use historical facts and real people to build the story line of their escape room, Benedicto explained.

"A lot of people that came to the community were former slaves, but the remarkable part of it is that people were able to be thriving entrepreneurs."

But the story line is not just about the success of Black Wall Street. "It also highlights racial violence as well. How a prosperous community was destroyed after thriving for so long," Williams said.

When entering the escape room, you become an investigative journalist who needs to beat the clock; while deciphering puzzles, locks, and clues to get the facts about how this community was brought to ruin, and learning of the lives that were lost.

"The really, really neat thing is that when they get through, they are going to know names and faces of some of these successful African Americans. So it's going to become more personal to them," Benedicto said.

Williams and Benedicto created this room to teach a lesson, that is what Black History Month is all about.

"To learn how African Americans were really able to thrive in very, very challenging situations." Benedicto explained.

"This is an opportunity to pause, and really learn the history of African Americans," said Williams.

They also have a room focused on the history of voting rights in the United States.

In celebration of Black History Month, Underground Escape is offering 50% off with the promo code BHM2019 on their website at undergroundescape.org.

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