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Race Against Time

New exhibit aims to dispel age-old stereotypes.

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In Forced Alterego: The Assimilation Process in America, local photographer Julius M. Lyles III explores what it’s like to be a black man in America. Thirty black-and-white portraits of activists, businessmen, and students put a face on racial identity. “It’s their perspective,” says Lyles. “I caught them in the moment. It really captures the nobility of the figure.”

Forced Alterego is the second part of Lyles’ ongoing Internal Baggage Project, a multi-media mission to confront stereotypes. The first -- Slurs, Slangs, and Derogatory Words – looked at the power of verbal abuse via Photoshopped pics. Forced Alterego is more subtle but equally effective. “Everybody’s going to have a different opinion on what they see,” says Lyles. “Because they’re not just seeing portraits. They’re symbols.” The subjects, who range from teens to sexagenarians, give the exhibit its might. Most of the photos are of men Lyles approached on the street. “Everybody looks different,” says Lyles. “And everybody has a different way of expressing themselves. There are so many different points-of-view.”
Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 12-4 p.m. Starts: Feb. 15. Continues through March 3

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