The Making of Cathy Hughes, in Wax

National Great Blacks in Wax museum
It was late morning on May 25th when Leonard James III, US Business Development Manager of ExxonMobil Marketing, Faith Morris of Owen Morris, President/Chief Strategist for Owens Morris Communications, and Kay Henson, Deputy Director of The National Great Blacks in Wax, met with Cathy Hughes and her team in an attempt to convince her to be immortalized in wax. ExxonMobil is a proud sponsor of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum’s “Living Legends” traveling exhibit. Cathy Hughes’ likeness, if granted, will be the second figure of the series following Earl Graves, Publisher and Entrepreneur.

“It’s a little eerie,” says Hughes with a smile, “If done correctly, the figures look just like the person. I’m not sure I’m ready to look into my own eyes.”

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum offers an unusual take on African American movers and shakers, both past and present. Each exhibit exudes the inner strength and struggles of

Leonard James III, US Business Development Manager for ExxonMobil Marketing, meets with Cathy Hughes about adding her likeness to the National Great Blacks in Wax "Living Legends" collection.

those on display. Contained within its walls is 30,000 square feet of African American history. From the

sound effects of the slave ship to the era of Civil Rights, each exhibit is a compelling testimony of a people whose ancestry was born of royalty, chained to adversity, but arose to triumph. It is the desire of ExxonMobil and the directors of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum to make Catherine L. Hughes, the activist and media mogul, an addition to the exhibit.

The process to getting such likeness is a tedious and delicate one. Once the time frame of for the model has been determined, the research begins. Photos of facial features, hair, body size, hands, fingers and elbows must be carefully examined from every angle. Articles, books and interviews are examined to get a feel for the model’s personality and style. Extensive measurements must be taken from the size of the waist to the length of a finger. The slightest details such as a piece of jewelry, a tattoo and a freckle are adhered to, in a quest to duplicate the likeness of the person.

From this, computer generated 3-deminsional images are created. Casts of body parts are made and flesh tones matched. Even the model’s

Left-Right: Leonard James III, ExxonMobil, Faith Morris, OwensMorris Communications, Cathy Hughes, Kay Henson, National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, and Tony Washington, Radio One.

clothing becomes one with the image. Hughes’ process will be even more unique as she is to become the first representative of the media in the Baltimore museum. Her display will draw attention to her life and evolution of broadcasting, down to the equipment used in transmitting the infamous signal that made her a household name among those in the African American community.