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Family Treasures: The Kinsey Collection Celebrating African-American Heritage at Epcot

“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” an exhibit representing more than 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution in the form of art, rare documents, photographs, and artifacts, premiered March 8th at the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot. Selected from the private collection of philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, the installation is enhanced by special Disney Imagineering to facilitate the learning and heighten the experience of the works on display. Be one of the first to see samples of the fascinating items on display below.


  • The Premiere 1 of 11
    The Premiere
    Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, their son, Khalil, and "Grey's Anatomy" stars James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson were all special guests at the premiere. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
  • Belief 2 of 11
    Belief
    Items are displayed in galleries with themed titles including "Hope," "Courage," "Belief," "Imagination" and "Heritage." One item in the "Belief" gallery is a document entitled, "Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Cabinet Card Photograph." In 1870, Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • It Started with a School Project 3 of 11
    It Started with a School Project
    Here, the Kinseys and their son, Khalil, examine an interactive lantern. A primary school project of Khalil's inspired the Kinseys to start the collection. To enrich the storytelling experience of the exhibit, Walt Disney Imagineers added interactive displays in which Epcot guests can deepen their knowledge of the American heritage that the Kinsey holdings represent.
  • Imagination 4 of 11
    Imagination
    Alain Locke not only became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907, but his book "The New Negro" helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance, a period in American culture that produced many artists, musicians, writers and thinkers. (Document on display: The Negro in Art, by Alain Locke)(David Roark, photographer)
  • Deeper Knowledge 5 of 11
    Deeper Knowledge
    The guest-activated lanterns bring history to life and foster a deeper knowledge of the items with narration provided by Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Sawyer, actors Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, Jr., Kerry Washington, Zendaya Coleman, Roshon Fegan, China Anne McClain, and Tyrel Jackson Williams. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • Rich Cultural Tapestry 6 of 11
    Rich Cultural Tapestry
    "We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests," said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president, Walt Disney World Parks. "Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration of the human spirit."(Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • Heritage 7 of 11
    Heritage
    Included in the "Heritage" gallery are family heirlooms like a "Letter to President Roosevelt," by Carrie Kinsey, Bernard's cousin. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World 8 of 11
    The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World
    A copy of "The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World," by Marshall W. "Major" Taylor, World Champion Cyclist circa 1899. Taylor's story is fascinating. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • Celebrating the Human Spirit 9 of 11
    Celebrating the Human Spirit
    Art and artifacts pay homage to African-Americans who helped build and transform a nation. Their stories of determination and courage, from the nation's early days to the present, are at the heart of the exhibit. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • Imagination bronze 10 of 11
    Imagination bronze
    This beautiful bronze is part of the "Imagination" gallery. (Kent Phillips, Photographer)
  • A Gorgeous Piece 11 of 11
    A Gorgeous Piece
    The chance to see this gorgeous piece, along with the rest of the Kinsey Collection on display at the American Heritage Gallery, is included in Epcot admission. Seen here: Untitled, 1951 by artist Hughie Lee-Smith. (credit: Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Collection)

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