Back in December, we told you about the Kinsey Collection that is opening this March.
This new exhibit is now preparing to open March 8 and will celebrates the history of African American achievements and contributions. It is a private collection from Bernard and Shirley Kinsey and will contain approximately 40 pieces, which will be themed around five different topics: hope, belief, courage, imagination, and heritage. Some of the pieces of the exhibit will include:
- By age 19, Phillis Wheatley became internationally known as the first African-American ever to publish a book of poetry. She wrote about hope and freedom and is now known as The Mother of African American Literature. (On display: Phyllis Wheatley’s first book).
Other Hope Gallery highlights: Samuel Francis Smith: My Country ‘Tis of Thee lyrics; Hughie Lee Smith: “Untitled”; and Benjamin Banneker: Almanack.
- Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved young black woman often called an “American Anne Frank” stayed seven years in a tiny attic until she could escape to freedom. She later chronicled her story in an autobiography. (On display: Harriet Jacobs’ book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl)
- Other Courage Gallery highlights: Bisa Butler fiber art: Sea Island Woman; Michael Chukes sculpture: Loss.
- In 1870, only seven years after Emancipation, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. Josiah Walls became the first African-American to represent Florida in the House of Representatives. (On display: “Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Cabinet Card Photograph”)
- Other Belief Gallery highlights: Buffalo Soldiers Parade Flag; Abby Fisher: What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking; Matthew Henson book: A Negro Explorer at the North Pole.
- Alain Locke not only became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907, but his book “The New Negro” helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance, a period in American culture that produced artists, musicians, writers and thinkers that showed the world how American greatness comes from all of its citizens. (On display: The Negro in Art, by Alain Locke).
- Other Imagination Gallery highlights: Harmon Foundation Catalogs; American Beach Negro Ocean Playground, Florida – Steel plaque; “Untitled” (Kadir Nelson)
- History can be shared through many types of artifacts. Sometimes it’s as simple as a timeworn letter written by Carrie Kinsey (Bernard’s cousin) to President Roosevelt. Or an old sewing machine passed down through generations by Shirley’s grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler. (On display: “Letter to President Roosevelt,” by Carrie Kinsey)
- Other Heritage Gallery highlights: Bill of Sale-William Johnson; Schedule of Over 500 Slaves; Susie Plummer Pooler’s Sewing Machine.
To enhance the experience, an interactive display involving touch screens will be placed throughout the exhibit, further exploring what it has to offer. These are brought to life by narration from:
- Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”)
- Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”)
- Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”)
- Kerry Washington (“Scandal”)
- Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”)
- China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”)
- Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”)