WASHINGTON — Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, Sean Combs and Serena Williams now have a place in the National Portrait Gallery in a new show featuring leading black figures from entertainment, politics, sports and business.
“The Black List” opens Friday featuring 50 large-scale photographs from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ project that also included a 2008 HBO film.
The idea for the project came from the historical term, “blacklist,” referring to a marginalized group. But Greenfield-Sanders says he wanted to turn the phrase into a roll call of distinction to show the broad achievements of African Americans. Beyond celebrities, the project also includes influential but lesser-known figures.
A smaller exhibit has been shown in New York and Los Angeles. But the Smithsonian show is the first to feature all 50 of the portraits.