“We had opening remarks and a series of short speeches, including Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, then we had the ribbon-cutting and the public was welcomed in to see this exhibit,” curator Kendra Field told WTOP.
The exhibit is on view for the next 18 months, honoring Black feminists from Mary Treadwell to Nkenge Touré.
“We bring them through post-Emancipation to the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power,” curator Sherie M. Randolph told WTOP. “There are images from those time periods of women like Anna Julia Cooper and Bernice Johnson Reagon and Sweet Honey in the Rock. … We place all of these Black feminists together to tell the rich history of both the local community and national community that supported ending lynching and police violence.”
On Friday night, the celebration continues at the Women Making History Awards Gala presented in The Schuyler at The Hamilton Hotel on 14th Street, Northwest from 7 to 11 p.m.
Hosted by Zarna Garg, the ceremony will feature cocktails, a formal seated dinner and live entertainment by Tony Award nominee Laura Bell Bundy (“Legally Blonde”) and Broadway star Shayna Steele (“Hairspray”).
This year’s class includes model and designer Ashley Graham, actress and humanitarian Sharon Stone (“Basic Instinct,” “Casino”), actress and activist Uma Thurman (“Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill”), political activist Willie Pearl Mackey King, who typed Dr. King’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a third-generation Washingtonian and D.C.’s longest serving Congressional representative.
“[Eleanor Holmes Norton] is phenomenal and has had a long history of being a civil rights activist,” Randolph said. “She really was a Black feminist and used the title in the mid ’60s, so we look at her work early on when she was in her 20s supporting legislation, working with various Black feminist organizations from the Third World Women’s Alliance to NOW [National Organization for Women].”
This is the sixth awards gala and the first since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.