Black History Month gives African Americans the chance to reflect on the past and the journey blacks have taken throughout America. However, the National Portrait Gallery is giving the public a glimpse of the present with “The Black List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.”
The exhibit, which runs through April 22, was inspired by “The Black List” documentary, which has been airing on HBO. The documentary and exhibit show some of the most influential African Americans who have impacted politics, music, athletics, civil activism and business.
Fifty large photographs of people such as author Toni Morrison, actor Samuel L. Jackson, singer John Legend, TV personality Oprah Winfrey, tennis player Serena Williams and music mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs are scattered throughout the exhibit. At the entrance hangs a large photo of men and women from the civil rights movement, marching with signs that say, “If we must die, let us die as free men, not Jim Crow slaves.”
Typically, blacklisted people were not accepted by society, had trouble finding work or lost out on other opportunities. Greenfield-Sanders wanted to reinterpret the idea of a black list and develop one that portrayed successful African Americans of the 21st century.
The exhibit is open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free, and pictures can be taken without flash.