When Bernard and Shirley Kinsey began collecting art in the early 1970s they never imagined they would become the owners of one of the most prevalent private collections of African American artifacts and artwork in the world. The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey - Where Art and History Intersect, currently on showcase at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, contains rare books and manuscripts along with historic slave documents and shackles. Some of the most notable artifacts include letters by author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The exhibit also presents a variety of paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs by renowned African-American artists such as Romare Bearden, Henry O. Tanner, Richmond Barthé, Richard Mayhew and Jacob Lawrence. “These pieces reflect a time that was extremely difficult for black people,” said Khalil Kinsey, son of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey and General Manager of Operations and Exhibits. “We hope to push the American story, expanding the consciousness of everyone in order to start a new dialogue about race and perspective”.