A photograph from the Moss Kendrix collection at the Black History Museum.
Photo courtesy Black History Museum
Moss Kendrix was known as the father of Black Public Relations, a prominent figure who founded the Moss H. Kendrix Organization in Washington, D.C. in 1948 to promote diversity in advertising.
An archive of over 900 photographs detailing Kendrix’s life’s work and contributions to society is maintained by the Alexandria Black History Museum. That collection is now part of the Virginia Association of Museum’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts contest.
Voting in the statewide competition began Jan. 11 and runs through Jan. 20. One of the 10 artifacts from the list will win the People's Choice Award and $1,000 toward conservation work.
“We need everyone’s help to preserve this important collection of African American history,” said Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum. “The theme of this year’s contest is ‘Conserving Diversity,’ highlighting Virginia's underrepresented communities, and we think there is no better way to celebrate diversity than with the Moss Kendrix Collection.”
Kendrix promoted a new approach in marketing – appealing to African American consumers with positive and aspirational advertising campaigns featuring African American models and stars. His work led the way for non-stereotypical images of African Americans in national advertising and had a major influence on how African Americans are depicted in the media.
“The collection is a microcosm of mid-century African American life and an invaluable repository of the middle class African American experience,” Davis added.
Voting is online and individuals can vote once each day through Jan. 20. Visit https://vamuseums-org.wishpond.com/virginia-s-top-10-endangered-artifacts-2020/entries/193779991/reference to vote to help preserve Alexandria’s Moss Kendrix collection.
Visit https://vamuseums-org.wishpond.com/virginia-s-top-10-endangered-artifacts-2020/ to view the Top 10 Endangered Artifacts site.