Today I am in DC to participate in a reception for the induction of the HBO Black List still photos into the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) – which is really special because of all the amazing Black Americans who participated in the 3-part series (I was in Black List vol 2); and it’s even more special to celebrate my birthday on a day like this.
I am so happy to have 2 things in common now with my favorite newscaster, Stephan Colbert – a Peabody Award and a portrait in the NPG!
There are sports stars, musicians, writers, artists, film makers, and political figures and other pillars of our cultural life in the HBO series by Elvis Mitchell and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, but I am the only one there representing the value and ultimate progress towards environmental-equality for all Americans.
This is not the first time I have borne that incredible responsibility, but this one is unique for all the obvious reasons. This is a place where we as a nation enshrine the images of people who have done something historically noteworthy. Until recently, they had a rule that one had to be dead for at least 10 years before being allowed on the walls – which is a sensible notion given the ability of any live human’s ability to embarrass themselves and whatever they might represent. Don’t want to get them up on the wall, and then have to take them off….
This day forms another wrung in the ladder to raise the flag of Environmental-Equality for everyone, a little bit higher. I hope you will get a chance to visit this gallery next time you are in DC and learn about the Black List participants and all of the other luminaries who a portrayed on its walls.
This is a special day for progress of all kinds. So even if your picture isn’t on the NPG’s walls yet, if you believe in equal rights and opportunities for all, then you are there with us tonight. I thank you for your support in getting us a little closer from where we are, to where we ought to be, every day.