Unit 4 – Race and Religion

I’ll start this post by discussing the art style and symbolism that drew me to choose this as my page. There isn’t much to extrapolate from this as the message conveyed is fairly straightforward, though some people may take this in different directions. For me, this page depicts the mindset of those that view black people as ‘animals’ at the time, with the ducks bridging the analogy in this case. The appeal to me in the art style resides in the opposing black vs. white panels and the slash that separates them. The entirety of the comic is in black and white, but this is perhaps amongst the most striking of the panels as it depicts a true dichotomy. This idea of both creating an analogy and a harsh reality speaks to the level of urgency apparent at the time for black Americans. What is most striking about this comment is the blatant normalization of this strip.

It simply alludes to the metaphor rather than using any quotations or speech bubbles to define the images at hand. The most haunting piece of this page however, is the remarks made by the guards leading them into the jail. “Ain’t no newspapermen out here” represents the frightening idea of unjust behavior that could have been carried out by guards without the ability to report on it. The power structure is completely one-sided and the added disadvantage of rights at the time for black individuals is detrimental to their living state in jail. As for the layout of the page, there is something to be said of the choice for the bottom half of the page to fade into each other. Additionally, while this might be a bit of a reach, could there be symbolism in the idea of the ducks flying away? Free, able to do as they please, in contrast to the black individuals who are heading into the jail? I’m sure this is an unintentional choice made by the author, however, the possibility of this relationship should at least be considered by the reader.