Elizabeth Catlett: Influence On Civil Rights And Women's Rights

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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 to get hung, by a KKK member depicted as a skeleton, but being stopped by a member of the civil rights congress. The painting “Civil Rights Congress” is…show more content…
She had a huge impact on the art world through her dedication to social justice and women’s rights. Catlett was greatly influenced by the ideas of the Harlem Renaissance and a group of African American artists from Chicago. They played a part in influencing her to make paintings about civil right issues. In some of her most famous art work she depicted the black woman as a strong individual. Through her paintings she was able to embark on her experiences of being an African American woman during the time. She faced racism first hand when trying to get into Carnegie Institute of Technology, which she had a scholarship to but solely because of her race got denied admission. Her paintings became so famous because of the meaning behind them and her compassion. She describes her creations as a way to “use your art for the service of people, struggling people, to whom only realism is meaningful,” (Catlett). For her, art became more than just painting for fun, it became a way she

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