An Honest Look

The photos of Elis Marsalis III are a mirror on his community, stripping away the stereotypes to show the reality

June 13, 2007|By Glenn McNatt | Glenn McNatt,Sun Art Critic

In the photographs of Ellis L. Marsalis III, home is a place called tha bloc, a sliver of East Baltimore in the Belair-Edison community, where everything is not always what it seems.

When Marsalis moved into the neighborhood a little more than a decade ago, the area was already in transition. The German and Polish steelworkers who'd lived there for decades were moving out, to be replaced by a new generation of African-American homeowners. The community has also seen an influx of less-affluent residents, many of whom were relocated from the city-owned Flag House Courts public-housing complex near Little Italy that was demolished in 2001.

Voices and Visions of tha bloc runs through Aug. 12 at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place S.E., Washington. 202-633-4820 or anacostia.si.edu.

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