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CITY ARTS

The Ties That Bind

August 01, 1993|SANDRA HERNANDEZ

Tony Gleaton spent five years traveling along Mexico's west coast photographing the African legacy that is mirrored in the faces of Costa Chica's residents.

The result of Gleaton's journey through the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Guerrero can be seen in "Africa's Legacy in Mexico: Photographs by Tony Gleaton," at the California Afro-American Museum through Oct. 12.

The collection of 52 black-and-white portraits documenting racial and ethnic assimilation is a first for the museum and an important step in showing the impact of African culture in the Americas, museum officials said.

"It's part of the mandate of this museum to discuss the contributions Africans made in the New World, and that includes Mexico and the Caribbean," said museum spokeswoman Nancy McKinney.

The exhibit, which opened last week, will travel throughout the country until 1996 as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services. Originally displayed at the Watts Towers Arts Center, Gleaton's work is meant to help broaden the definition of Latinos and Africans, according to McKinney.

"We have such a large Hispanic population in California, and many of them are of African descent," McKinney said. "By seeing how the African people have contributed to the culture of South and Central America we (African-Americans) will have a greater appreciation for the Hispanic culture, and Hispanics will have a greater understanding of the African contribution to their culture."

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"Africa's Legacy in Mexico: Photographs by Tony Gleaton," Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the California Afro-American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park. Information: (213) 744-7432.

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