Celebrities Like Kweli, Sparks Share ‘Untold Stories’ of Black History


Celebrities including Jordin Sparks, Lauren London, Lance Gross and Talib Kweli and more have joined forces with Wells Fargo for an interactive campaign to extend its year-long celebratory tour featuring “The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect.”

The collection features African American art and artifacts chronicling the African American experience from the 1600’s to the present.

Sparks, London, Gross and Kweli serve as featured curators in a four-part short film series, “Untold Stories: Our Inspired History,” that consists of documentary- style narrations taking viewers through specific points in history represented by artifacts in The Kinsey Collection.

The series can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1wnNCsFZfFV9hJlurl8QgIQ6q5E5gCIZ. Additionally, fans can join in the conversation and share their own untold stories via Twitter using the #KinseyUntold hashtag.

“The Kinsey Collection strives to give our ancestors a voice, name and personality, enabling the viewer to understand the challenges, obstacles, triumphs and extraordinary sacrifice of African Americans who’ve greatly contributed to the success of this country,” said Bernard Kinsey.

The series is designed to educate viewers about the historical impact of African-American history on modern life using the perspective of each celebrity curator. In one video, Gross describes the trials faced by Josiah Walls, an early African-American statesmen in the 41st and 42nd Congress. Another video features Sparks sharing the accomplishments of a young Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American woman poet to be published.

Lisa Frison, the African American segment manager, said that the goal of the collection was to “create an opportunity for others to engage in dialogue around the rich history of African Americans,” and called the campaign “an innovative way to continue the discussion about the significant contributions of African Americans.”

The “Untold Stories: Our Inspired History” campaign extends into social media with the launch of multiple video vignettes in July, featuring prominent lifestyle bloggers sharing their personal stories. The social media influencer strategy aims to broaden the reach of the campaign by tapping into the networks of each influencer to emphasize the role of history and its significance to today. Denene Millner —participating influencer and New York Times Bestselling Author named one of the most influential black female writers by Black Voices— recently shared personal reflections via her “My Brown Baby” blog on the Family First short film featuring Talib Kweli.

An exhibition of the Kinsey Collection is currently on tour in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The tour officially launched during Black History Month at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, Calif. On June 29, the tour kicked off its second stop at the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, N.C. It will move to Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum in November.

(Photo: Actress Lauren London during her video presentation on the tenacity of hope. Courtesy of Youtube)


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