A new storytelling series detailing the African-American experience from the 1600s to the present has launched on YouTube. With the collaborative efforts of Wells Fargo and The Kinsey Collection — an exhibit that features artifacts chronicling Black life — a documentary-style campaign named “Untold Stories: Our Inspired History” was born, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Hollywood stars such as Jordin Sparks, Lance Gross, Lauren London, and Talib Kweli will serve as hosts of this new Black storytelling experience. “The series is designed to educate viewers about the historical impact of African American history on modern life using the perspective of each celebrity curator,” adds WSJ.
In one video, Lauren London explains how Carrie Kinsey unknowingly began the The Kinsey Collection. In 1903, she wrote a letter to President Theodore Roosevelt asking for his help to find her missing brother. She describes how one man approached her saying that he would take care of her brother and pay her $5 a month. “But I heard of him no more,” Carrie wrote in the letter.
“Carrie Kinsey had no idea this letter was one of the things that inspired Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, her direct descendants, to start their exhibit, the Kinsey Collection,” London added in the video.
The Kinsey Collection is filled with souvenirs of the African-American past that has been on display in eight museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The Kinsey Collections strives to give our ancestors a voice […] enabling the viewer to understand the challenges, triumphs, and extraordinary sacrifice of African-Americans…” said Bernard Kinsey in a statement.
In another video vignette, Jordin Sparks highlights the accomplishments of Phyllis Wheatley, the first female Black poet to be published. Lance Gross “describes the trials faced by Josiah Walls, an African American statesmen in the 41st and 42nd Congress,” adds WSJ. Lastly, Talib Kweli delves into a 113-year-old letter granting Henry Butler, a Black Man, the ability to buy his family freedom.
The storytelling campaign was created to not only honor our African-American ancestors, but to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The video collection can be viewed on YouTube where fans are welcome to join in on the conversation and share the stories by using the #KinseyUntold hashtag on Twitter.
We’ve got Lance Gross’ clip below and Lauren London’s after the jump.