There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Mestizos. Mexicanos. Boricuas. Hispanics. Chicanos. Not one nationality or culture, Latino-Americans form a disparate community often bound by language, sometimes simply by surname. They are black. They are brown. They are white. “Americanos: Latino Life in the United States,” part of a five-year multimedia project that also includes an HBO documentary, a CD, and a coffee-table book, attempts to capture the collective soul and identity of Latino-Americans through the works of 30 award-winning photographers. From a migrant farm worker in Oregon to recording artist Carlos Santana, the exhibit features 120 photographs organized around six themes: work, sports, family, community, spiritual life, and culture and the arts. Brief personal essays by Cuban-born salsa queen Celia Cruz, Carlos Fuentes, and others introduce each theme, while black-and-white and color images outline the breadth of the Latino experience in America. Rita Rivera captures a New York cop posing with her son at the Puerto Rican Day parade (Police Officer Lisa Demetriou and Her Son at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, New York, N.Y. is pictured). A young man combs his hair over a sink displaying his full-back tattoo of Our Lady of Guadalupe. One intimate photo essay reveals the passion and danger of the Mexican rodeo, while another expresses beauty and strength through the captivating eyes of a young girl emigrating from Mexico to America with her family. “Americanos” is on view daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Sunday, June 6, at the National Museum of American History, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Nefretiti Makenta)