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“African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond” is proof that black artists not named Jacob Lawrence or Romare Bearden produced a ton of compelling 20th century art, even if it makes it into our museums less frequently. The sprawling exhibit features 100 works by 43 artists—a generous mix of painters, sculptors, and photographers. The latter group includes such celebrated figures as Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks, but there are unexpected finds. Read Louis Jacobson’s complete review. The exhibition is on view 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Sept. 3 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. Free. americanart.si.edu. (202) 633-7970.
BOOKS AND TALKS
Good luck getting your copy of Home signed by Toni Morrison this afternoon! The famous author’s signing at Politics & Prose is sure to be a madhouse. But you can try your damnedest! 4 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
Sorry, Betty White fans—-the comedian’s talk at Lisner Auditorium is totally sold out.
But you can still attend tonight’s Listen Local First showcase and panel discussion at Blackbyrd. The local group—-which City Paper‘s arts editor recently critiqued in an essay called “The Trouble With Local“—-is tackling digital music platforms and web promotion, aided by panelists Rob Connelly (ESL Radio), Marcus K. Dowling (music writer), Paul Vodra (Hometown Sounds), and others. After the talk comes a local music showcase with Redline Graffiti, The Grey Area, and Adrian Krygowski. 7 p.m. at Blackbyrd, 2005 14th St. NW. $5-$10 suggested donation. More information on Facebook.
Now in its seventh year, the Capitol Movement Project is an annual tradition ’round these parts. This year’s concert, happening tonight at the Harman Center For the Arts, is a style-spanning program that pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 7:30 p.m. at 610 F St. NW. $59-$69.
Today’s also the first day of Alliance Française’s big French hip-hop dance festival Urban Corps, but the performances don’t really kick off till tomorrow. Check out the schedule.
In Where Soldiers Come From, a group of kids from Northern Michigan leave their mostly happy lives in Northern Michigan to fight a war as National Guard soldiers in Afghanistan. When they return, they struggle with the aftereffects of war—-disillusionment, injury, and trauma. The film shows at 6 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. Free.
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Photo: Robert McNeill, Make A Wish (Bronx Slave Market,170th Street, New York), 1938, gelatin silver, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1938 Robert McNeill