Airport Art Exhibit Honors African-American Historymakers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you’re traveling through Philadelphia International Airport in the next few months, you may want to take a few minutes to visit the bridge between terminals D and E. It’s the site of an exhibit on 100 African-American historymakers from Philadelphia.

The people portrayed in the exhibit are alive and well and attended the unveiling last week.

The hardest thing about mounting the exhibit, says the African-American Museum’s Patricia Wilson-Aden, was limiting the group to a hundred.

“We looked at a very, very, long list, but we wanted to make sure we had comprehensive representation of a lot of different disciplines and we went through a very difficult process of decision-making.”

The best part was realizing how many were still alive to see themselves honored.

“This is so great, I lived long enough to see this,” said Reverend Joe Williams, one of the last surviving Dixie Hummingbirds. “I’m 78, the Lord kept me here for some reason. Now I know why.”

Williams is one of the musical honorees, along with Dee Dee Sharp and Pearl Baily. Pulitzer-winning playwright Charles Fuller was there, with novelist Lorene Cary. There were athletes, scientists, even law was represented by former U.S. Attorney Ed Dennis, who crushed the Scarfo crime family.

“You never know where your work is situated in history,” Dennis said. I don’t think I thought of it in those terms when I was going through it, but I’m just happy to be included in this august group.”

The exhibit will be up until July.

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