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TO JAN. 29
Is there something about black-and-white photography that makes images appear more significant than they really are? Or is it simply that grayscale lets us see the gravity of everyday situations? In junior high school art class, I was taught that black and white aren’t colors at all, but “values.” It always seemed like a pointless semantic distinction to me. And even though they’re black-and-white, the scenes in “Soul Food: Photography of African-American Life and Culture” are as vivid as anything ever rendered in Technicolor. The exhibit features works by African-American photographers and focuses on images of black life in America. Proud as we may be of our common culture, African-Americans obviously do not possess a collective memory. We didn’t all go to the Million Man March. Not all of us have stood face to face with legends like Bob Marley or traveled the campaign trail with Jesse Jackson. Some of us have never seen the inside of a Baptist church, or—fortunately—attended a Baptist funeral for one of our slain sons, as depicted in a work by Eli Reed (pictured). The eight photographers of “Soul Food” have not only witnessed these moments of the black experience, but have also captured them indefinitely. This exhibit is their way of sharing their visions—and perhaps their values—with us. On view from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, to Saturday, Jan. 29, at International Visions, 2629 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 234-5112. (Neil Drumming)