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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

February 23, 1992|E. W. Alexander

SONGS OF MY PEOPLE, edited by Eric Easter, D. Michael Cheers and Dudley M. Brooks (Little, Brown: $24.95 ; 210 pp.). The editors enlisted the help of 50 professional photographers to traverse the country in search of an African-American community. We see 70-year-old Louise Wilson tend chickens in the shadow of dilapidated buildings, maintaining pride over land her family has overseen for generations. But we also meet the more privileged: Gene Washington, for instance, a San Francisco doctor, and his investment banker wife Marie bear the fruit of years of ancestral struggle. A moving portrayal of African-Americans in their communities, businesses, families and even prisons, these 214 black-and-white photographs evoke hope, faith, exhilaration, frustration, patriotism and despair.

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