this is my take over the big brouha over the poster image for this
year's Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival depicting two impressionistic
black shapes of children in white clothing with red mouths and
holding strawberry baskets: Seems that some folks see the painting
exclusively as racist, reminiscent of early stereotypical depictions
of African-American children as "pickaninnies." These same
folks say it was an insensitive selection because the festival
committee is primarily composed of white members and that's why they
chose this image.
I guess some hyper-sensitive folks could see it that way; the same
folks who insist that having a Confederate flag automatically means
you're a racist, that all black people are persecuted and profiled by
police for no valid reason, that all early American folk art
depicting African-Americans is stereotypical and must be labeled as
such and never displayed, anyone who puts on blackface and plays a
minstrel is a bigot, no matter the context.
have a solution. Never paint any figure of a person as black unless
they're in foreign or primitive clothing to show they're not
African-AMERICAN. We need to follow the rules set by these masters
of political correctness and pretend that African-Americans have no
history in this country but one of discrimination and failure.
Black human forms painted by anyone who isn't black are automatically
to be deemed stereotypical and should have no place in American
mainstream art. We can all just accept that hip-hop and gangsta
rap, pants on the ground, and street-gang graffiti are the end-all
and be-all of appropriate African-American contributions to art and
let it go at that.
for the next strawberry festival, make it a white figure in a black
dress -- and then see if all these same super-sensitive critics
scream that you're ignoring historical contributions by
African-Americans. You're not going to please them no matter what
you do, so scrape them off and move on.
Labels: Florida Cracker, Wisdom