A Brief History of Racial and Social Injustice Drawn and Painted

The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, Ben Strahn. In the 1920’s amidst a wave of xenophobia and the Red Scare that followed the Bolshevik Revolution, two Italian immigrant anarchists were arrested, convicted and executed for a murder they most likely didn’t commit.
Scottsboro Boys, Hideo Benjamin Noda
Scottsboro Boys, Hideo Benjamin Noda. The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenagers who in 1931 were falsely accused of raping two white women on a train in Scottsboro, Ala. In the foreground of Noda’s painting is one of those teenagers Haywood Patterson.
Us Fellas Gotta Stock Together (The Last Defenses of Capitalism), Hugo Gellert.
Us Fellas Gotta Stick Together (The Last Defenses of Capitalism), Hugo Gellert. 1932
Mine Strike, Thomas Hart Benton
Mine Strike, Thomas Hart Benton. Drawn by the artist after a 1928 tour of the coal mines of West Virginia.
We Demand Our Jobs, Seymour Fogel
We Demand Our Jobs, Seymour Fogel. Drawn in 1933 during the Depression.
Vigilantes, Will Barnett
Vigilantes, Will Barnett, 1934
The Lord Provides, Jacob Burck
The Lord Provides, Jacob Burck. Police remove a woman demonstrating against unemployment in 1934 during the Depression.
Strike Scene
Strike Scene, Louis Lozowick, 1935
The Louisville Flood
The Louisville Flood, Margaret Bourke-White. After a flood in 1937 Bourke-White photographed African-American residents lining up outside a food relief agency. In the background is a billboard that speaks for itself.
American Tragedy, Philip Evergood
American Tragedy, Philip Evergood. The Memorial Day Massacre occurred in 1937 on Chicago’s South Side. Steelworkers marched toward a Republic Steel plant demanding the right to unionize. Police fired on the demonstrators, killing ten and wounding or injuring 60.
Discrimination KKK, Jesus Escobedo
Discrimination KKK, Jesus Escobedo, 1940
Big electric chair
Big Electric Chair, Andy Warhol. This is an image of the death chamber at Sing Sing where Julius and Ethel Rosenthal were executed in 1963. Amidst another Red Scare in America in the 1950’s, the Rosenthals were convicted of passing confidential information about the atomic bomb to Russia during World War II.
The Problem We All Live With, Norman Rockwell
The Problem We All Live With, Norman Rockwell. in 1960, six-year old Ruby Bridges heads to what had previously been an all-white school in New Orleans, escorted by U.S. marshals.
Gary Simmons chalk drawing
Green Chalkboard, Gary Simmons, 1993.

(Images are from various exhibits at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Rockwell painting is from an exhibit at the Newark Museum of Art.)

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12 Responses to A Brief History of Racial and Social Injustice Drawn and Painted

  1. Bumba says:

    A fine exhibit, which we especially appreciate with the museums currently closed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Brief History of Racial and Social Injustice Drawn and Painted | off the leash | First Night History

  3. sportsdiva64 says:

    Thank you for this, Ken. Since the museums are closed, this is the closest thing we have. Hope you’re doing well . This is so timely right now . Not for nothing , we all must vote and work to make changes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nitinsingh says:

    time machine post , a tour of history .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam Lazos says:

    So cool. EPA headquarters in DC has some of this type of art in the hallways, really magnificent stuff from a time when we still valued labor. Thanks, Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Bourke-White photo sure says a lot. Oh, how I pray for change.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna Janke says:

    Powerful collection. Hopefully the mirror art holds up to us can help spur positive change.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sandra says:

    What a great exhibit! I really enjoyed viewing this. Thank you for sharing Ken!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Zettl says:

    Very nice works! Most of those I’ve never seen before. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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