Hot on the heels of leading a well-received workshop at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, Bernard Kinsey has just hopped on a plane to North Carolina to give a talk on art, history and philanthropy.
Mr. Kinsey’s intrepid globetrotting mirrors his passion to showcase African-American achievement and contribution. The sprightly 69-year-old, along with his wife, Shirley, have amassed one of the largest private collections of artifacts tracing black history spanning more than 400 years.
Some of the most notable items include letters by Zora Neale Hurston and Martin Luther King, Jr., correspondence between Malcolm X and his biographer Alex Haley, slave shackles, a first-edition copy of poems by Phillis Wheatley, and 17th-century slave documents.
“The Kinsey Collection strives to give our ancestors a voice, personality and name, enabling the viewer to understand the remarkable accomplishments and triumphs of African-Americans,” Kinsey told theGrio hours before his Charlotte-bound flight.
In fact, what started as a husband and wife hobby to collect mementos on their travels has over the course of 30 years turned into a labor of love. The outcome is a staggering national touring exhibit of rare art, manuscripts, paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs.
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