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April 4, 2010

In the Neighborhood

Obama Ward 8.jpg

Call it “walking the walk.”

At first, I couldn’t figure out where all the photos were of the WH easter egg roll, and the guy from last year in the bunny suit. Then I discovered that the Obamas had gone to Easter services at Allen Chapel AME Church in South East Washington. The poverty- and unemployment-stricken Ward 8 neighborhood was the scene of a horrible shooting spree just a week ago.

Because the visit was intentionally low key, there are few wire photos of the visit. What photographers did manage to capture, though, were scenes like this of people on the block looking out their doors and windows as the President arrives at the church. If it was up to the President, I doubt even these photos would exist given his desire to keep the visit as unstated and personal as possible. The fact they do, however, not only illustrates how the Obama’s care about the predominantly black urban district and documents how these children will likely remember this glimpse for a lifetime, but shouts how these communities and their tragedies, large and small, are otherwise left to the shadows.

(4/5 7:05 am: extended one sentence)

(photo: NIcholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images. Washington, April 4, 2010.)

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