22

MONDAY

Our city is steeped in history, yet sometimes one small museum exhibition can provide a chilling moment in which you realize that significant events occurred near where you live or work. “Forgotten Roots: African-American Muslims in Early America” does just that, offering artifacts and manuscripts that not only document the existence of African-born Muslim slaves, but also evidence their religion, literacy, and culture. Consider the story of Yarrow Mamout, originally of Guinea, who was enslaved before the American Revolution and worked on a Maryland tobacco farm. In 1807, he was manumitted by Upton Beall of Montgomery County. Mamout, then 45-plus years old, started a hauling business and eventually owned property in Georgetown, now 3330–3332 Dent Street. “Forgotten Roots” includes a portrait of Mamout, made around 1820, showing a lean-faced elderly black man contentedly holding a pipe; he wears a snug blue coat studded with buttons and a peaked hat with red, blue, and white stripes. The image suggests his eventual success and a dignity that sustained him. The show is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (daily, to Oct. 16) at the Anacostia Museum and Center for African-American History and Culture, 1901 Fort Place SE. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Hetty Lipscomb)