'Black List' Exhibit at Smithsonian

Featuring 50 photographs of black artists

Thursday, Oct 27, 2011  |  Updated 10:23 AM EDT
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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 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 that many people don't know about.

So beyond celebrities, it 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 portraits.

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