It Did Matter If You Were Black or White

Topics: Slavery, Black people, White people Pages: 3 (1327 words) Published: March 6, 2006
America has been described as a nation founded for the people by the people. Critics argue that it was founded by and for white male Europeans. So which one is it? By viewing this exhibition, it shall become quite clear that this country was not founded by and for all the people. Indeed, African Americans did not found this nation nor was it founded for their benefit. Their white counterparts founded it on their backs. And unfortunately, they are still looked down upon today. By whites castigating them as black or even by stereotyping themselves, it does still matter today if you are black or white. The following exhibition will show American art's progressive portrayal of blacks as an inferior race. In 1710, Justus Engelhardt Kuhn painted Henry Darnall III as a Child. In this painting a young white boy along with his black child slave stands on a balcony overlooking his estate's elaborate gardens. The slave stands behind his master, holding a dead bird that the master has just killed after a hunt. The slave is not placed directly on the balcony with his master but behind the ledge so that he can not come too close to the white boy. This indicated a clear distinction between the two races. And to further subjugate the slave, he is given a facial expression tantamount to adoration of his master. He is not a person but rather like a puppy. One can treat a puppy however they want since animals have no feeling. (This is before PETA.) Despicably, black slaves were treated far worse than the house pet. Blacks were not given the human status that they were. In John Trumbull's The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunkers Hill (1786), a black slave is painted behind his master. By placing the slave in the bottom right corner, Trumbull marginalizes his significance in order that the hypocrisy of fighting for freedom while enslaving blacks is not raised. And while the black still fights as a loyal slave, a look of uncertainty is given to him. This confusion makes...
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