‘Black List’: Photographs of African American Stand Outs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles

WASHINGTON, DC—Over the weekend, I visited the “The Black List” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The expansive show of stunning images by renowned portrait photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders features 50 of the most inspiring and powerful African Americans of the 20th century. Celebrated in a range of fields from politics to the arts, the group was featured in an HBO special also called “The Black List.” In addition to the photographs, the exhibit includes video testimonials of each person describing their background and the tenets upon which they live their lives and have built their success. “The Black List” is on view from Oct.28, 2011 to April 22, 2012.

All photos by Arts Observer

The idea for what became the ‘Black List’ grew out of a conversation author and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison had with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson), formerly of Guns ‘N’ Roses; Actor Laurence Fishburne, in background.

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Rev. Al Sharpton and Whoopi Goldberg, in background.

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.

Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and music producer Sean Combs.

Actor/Director Keenan Ivory Wayans and Beverly Johnson, model.

Actor/Rapper RZA (Robert Fitzgerald Diggs), head of the Wu-Tang Clan.

General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, and Richard Parsons, chairman of Citicorp.

Comedian Chris Rock; Melvin Van Peebles and country singer Charley Pride, in background.

Patrick Robinson, former head of design for The Gap; Artist Kara Walker, in background.

Choreographer Bill T. Jones; Artist Lorna Simpson, in background.

From left, artist Kara Walker, actor Laurence Fishburne, choreographer Bill T. Jones and film director Lee Daniels.

Husband and wife, actors Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson.

From left, fashion designer Patrick Robinson, artist Kara Walker, actor Laurence Fishburne, actor/director Keenan Ivory Wayans, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, and model Beverly Johnson.

Filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles

There is one comment

Post Your Thoughts