Elizabeth Catlett's Painting, Civil Rights Congress

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“It is time to wake up Washington as it has never been shocked before,” were the famous words spoken by black labor leader A. Philip Randolph. After WWII in the 1940’s African Americans wanted to see change following the war. African Americans became more assertive for equality and the rights they knew they should be given. During this time the NAACP worked to end the discrimination within the armed forces. There was an organization called CORE, congress of racial equality that wanted to protest without using violence, which lead to the sit ins in the south that challenged the Jim Crow laws. During this time artist, Elizabeth Catlett created her painting” Civil Rights Congress” in 1949. The image portrays a little African American boy about …show more content…

The whole painting is in black and white which gives it a lugubrious tone. The angle of the portrait allows the audience to see the facial expression of each person in the painting. Both African American males have a sort of grin on their face, which shows that the painting is in favor of them. The communist, KKK member is depicted as a skeleton that is weak and being destroyed. The man that is stopping the communist member from hanging the little boy has a banner on that says CRC, which is a representation of the civil rights congress standing up for the rights of African Americans during that time. Catlett does a good job at getting her point across about advocating for social justice in her paintings. She has a similar sculpture called “Mother and Child” which portrays an African American woman cradling her baby. The sculpture represents that black women are courageous maternal figures. She does this to “reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential,” (Catlett). By doing so she was able to win numerous Nobel piece

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