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Temecula museum to feature 'Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope and Diversity in America' exhibit

TEMECULA – The Temecula Valley Museum will feature the photographic exhibit, "Black and White in Black and White," which reveals dignity, hope of African Americans in early 20th century America, until Sunday, March 24.

In 1965, 16-year-old Doug Keister acquired 280 glass plate negatives, originally found at a local garage sale. He immediately made prints from some of the plates, revealing powerful, early 20th-century portraits of African Americans in Lincoln, Nebraska. These astonishing images are now on display in a new traveling exhibition curated by Keister, "Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope and Diversity in America."

The exhibit features striking photographs attributed to African American photographer John Johnson. Using his Lincoln neighborhood as his canvas, Johnson crafted these ennobling images of his friends and family between 1910 and 1925. Equally as important as Johnson's depictions of African Americans are his images of blacks, whites and other racial groups together, an occurrence that was almost unheard of at the time.

The Smithsonian Institution recently acquired 60 of these photographs for their collection. Michèle Gates Moresi, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, underscored the importance of Johnson's work.

"They speak to a time and a place where African Americans were treated as second-class citizens but lived their lives with dignity ... You can read about it and hear people talk about it, but to actually see the images is something entirely different," Moresi said.

For more information on this event, exhibits and other activities, call 951-694-6450.

Submitted by the city of Temecula.


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