As you know, I love a good Disney adventure and this month there’s yet another reason to plan a visit to the happiest place on earth. Did you know that in the Epcot theme park of Walt Disney World you can see an exhibit dedicated to showcasing 400 years of African American contributions and achievement? It’s the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month at Disney World.
The “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” exhibit is located in the American Adventure Pavilion of Epcot. It’s been on display since March of 2013 and will continue throughout 2016. This is the private collection of artifacts from philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. This exhibit has also been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Since February is Black History Month, now is the perfect time to visit this enlightening and informative exhibit if you haven’t seen it before. Even if you have, it’s still a great time to come back and reflect on the stories that are shared. There are books, rare documents, and art pieces that have historical significance. According to the Disney website, the exhibit has 40 items that rotate on display. That means you may see completely different items on your next visit. I went for the first time last year with my son and I’m looking forward to visiting the exhibit again this year.
The Letters of Ignatus Sancho – Ignatius Sancho was a composer, actor, and writer. He is the first known Black Briton to vote in a British election.
An oration by Frederick Douglas
One of the features I really enjoyed was the interactive guide lanterns located in each themed section of the exhibit. They are guest initiated and you hear the familiar voices of celebrity narrators, Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”), and actors Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”), China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”). The exhibit is broken up into the following themes: Hope, Courage, Belief, Imagination, and Heritage.
Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor was an American cyclist who won the world 1 mile track cycling championship in 1899 after setting numerous world records. (Wikipedia)
I thought this display on Matthew Henson was particularly interesting, especially considering my love of exploration and adventure. I wanted to know more about him after the exhibit. Henson explored the arctic for over 2 decades with Robert Peary and is the co-discoverer of the North Pole in 1909.
Epcot is also featuring black author book signing in celebration of Black History Month at Epcot. New York Times Bestselling author, Terry McMillan will be there on
Saturday, Feb. 6, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. She is best known for her novels adapted to the movie screen, “Waiting to Exhale” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”. Chef G. Garvin will also be at Epcot on Saturday, Feb. 13, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. Chef Garvin is renowned chef and Cooking Channel host and author of the cookbook, “Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin: More Than 200 Incredible Recipes from the Chef Who Keeps it Super Simple.”
If your travel plans will bring you to Disney World this year, I encourage all of you to make a point to see the Kinsey Collection before the exhibit is gone. If you are a passholder this is a must-see activity for you. It’s not just Black history but it is an integral part of American history that we should all see. Too often the lessons conveyed in the curriculum of our schools merely compacts the American experience of blacks to there was slavery and that’s it. There is so much more to our history and our legacy than just slavery. Take advantage of this unique opportunity. You are guaranteed to learn something you didn’t know before your visit.
Have you visited the Kinsey Collection? What did you think about it? Do you know of a great Black History Month activity, travel destination, or festival? Tell me about it in the comments!
Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Adventure is a lifestyle.”