A Tribute to Nelson Mandela – by Bernard Kinsey

#016 Mandela & Kinsey

With the burial of Nelson Mandela on Sunday, I have been reflecting on his incomparable impact on the world, and the incredible blessing I was given in getting to know him. Those that know me, know that I often speak of legacy, and there is none greater than that of Mandela in my opinion.

I had the honor of first meeting President Mandela in the early ’90’s as part of a committee that supported his national fundraising tour. I am very proud that the Los Angeles committee helped him raise over $1.2 million, more than any other city on his cross-country tour. In 1993, as a result of the successes of the Rebuild Los Angeles effort of which I was co-chair, a private meeting was organized, where Mandela probed us on how to replicate our model to attract business investment to South African Townships. He subsequently invited me to South Africa in 1994 to consult his cabinet.

In my interactions with the giant that is Nelson Mandela, I was always in awe of his grace and poise. The principle, strength, courage, and resolve that his life embodied is superhuman.

We must all celebrate and honor the life of Nelson Mandela with our actions, remembering that there is still a great deal to stand and fight for. Inequality still abounds all over the world, and if we do not address it and do what we can with what we have, we are effectively saying that it’s ok.

We salute the life and legacy of Madiba Nelson Mandela, champion of freedom and justice, a truly extraordinary example from which we have all been blessed.

– Bernard W. Kinsey


Below is a 1989 portrait of Mandela by our dear friend, artist and activist, Artis Lane. Artis and her late husband Vince Cannon were among the founding members of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA)  and have been long time supporters since its beginning days as Artists Against Apartheid.


The Kinsey Collection on NPR’s “All Things Considered” & “Code Switch”


NPR’s Allison Keyes reports from The Kinsey Collection gallery at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore.

To listen to the “All Things Considered” feature as well as read the “Code Switch” article, please click  here

Special thanks to Allison Keyes at NPR for a great feature on one of our favorite media outlets.

The Kinsey Collection Now Open at The Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore!


The Kinsey Collection tour sponsored by Wells Fargo continues on to it’s last stop…The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. If you live in the DMV area or are visiting, make sure you visit this wonderful museum to see the exhibit, as well as their permanent exhibit showcasing the incredible history and contributions of African Americans in Maryland.

The Kinsey Collection is on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum from November 2nd, 2013 through March 2nd, 2014

For more information please visit: wellsfargo.com/kinseycollection and rflewismuseum.org

The Kinsey Collection Now at Walt Disney World

Guests to the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot can journey “between the pages” of history at a new art exhibit representing over 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution.

“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” which opened March 8, draws from an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history.

Their private collection has been displayed throughout the U.S., including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Approximately 40 pieces will be on display for Epcot guests at any given time on a rotating basis during the exhibit run.  Learn more…