I'm Doug Johnson.
This week we play love songs for Valentine’s Day…
And answer a question from China about bullet train development in the United States…
But first an exploration of African American history at the Kinsey Collection exhibit in Washington.
DOUG JOHNSON: February is Black History Month in the United States. The central message this year is African Americans and the Civil War. Two hundred thousand blacks joined the Union Army of the North to fight the Southern separatist Confederate Army. Their wives, mothers and sisters supported them in many ways. Yet their stories are not widely known.
An exhibit in Washington, D.C., holds important clues to this history and more about blacks in America. Faith Lapidus has our report.
The Kinsey Collection
FAITH LAPIDUS: The National Museum of African American History and Culture is presenting the exhibit. It is called “The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect.”
It is being shown at the NMAAHC gallery at the National Museum of American History on the National Mall. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is to begin building its own center next year.
Bernard and Shirley Kinsey began collecting African American art and historical objects in the nineteen seventies. Bernard Kinsey says it started with an old document sent to him by a friend.
BERNARD KINSEY: “It was a bill of sale from William Johnson, eighteen thirty-two, for five hundred dollars. And when I opened that Fed-Ex up and held this document in my hand it was like I was holding this brother in my hand. And I said I want to know everything about him, and how he lived and this period. And that just started this deep and wide quest.”
The bill of sale is in a part of the show called “Stories of Slavery and Freedom.” The bill of sale, like many objects in this area, is extremely unsettling. The physical fact deepens the knowledge that people were once considered property.