Sunday, August 05, 2012

Kinsey Collection continues its national tour

The Kinsey family comprised of noted FAMU alumni Bernard and Shirley, along with their son Khalil, were invited to St. Augustine, Fla. to discuss the plans for displaying their world famous Kinsey Collection in recognition of three important historical commemorations.

In 2015, the City of St. Augustine will commemorate its 450th anniversary as the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the United States.  The celebration started this year and will continue into 2013 with the 500th anniversary of the Florida expedition led by Juan Ponce de Leon.  Next year will also include celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

The Kinsey Collection: “Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey—Where Art and History Intersect” has been on display in museums around the country in more than eight cities including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Gallery in the National Museum of American History. The Kinsey Collection documents the hardships and triumphs of the African American experience dating back to 1600 and has been viewed by more than 2.8 million individuals.

Among the items are bills of sale, advertisements, letters and legal papers documenting the slave trade, hand-colored tintypes from the Civil War era and items spotlighting key moments in the civil rights movement, including documents from the Woolworth store boycotts and the 1963 March on Washington.

On their St. Augustine visit, the Kinsey family also had the opportunity to visit the Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Saint Augustine. The diocese represents the heritage of the local church and houses more than four centuries of documents.

The archives were opened to the Kinsey family who viewed a marriage registration for two African Americans from 1594 and a record of an African-American baptism from 1606. These documents prove that African Americans were part of America some nine years prior to the settlement of Jamestown.

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