Kirk, Jeremiah, and Chris have done really important and consistent work for the Black Studies blog this semester. Their writings about "race and illustration" have been helpful for our larger concerns about representation and visual matters. A while back, I asked them to reflect on some of the work they've been studying and doing.
Political editorial cartoons provide a quick, often direct approach to getting a point or opinion across. Like they always say, a picture says a thousand words. Instead of reading or listening to a wordy political reporter or journalist, I can focus on a small picture to view the issue from a different standpoint. The quickness of this allows me to view multiple viewpoints in the time it would take me to read one written article. –Jeremiah
On the challenge of writing about the cartoons:
The most challenging aspect of writing [about the images] has been the way that each cartoon can be interpreted so differently. A whole interpretation can hinge on some tiny aspect. I guess that I am saying that the challenge is not a bad thing. It keeps a person motivated. –Chris
A purpose of writing about the images:
Writing [about editorial cartoons] makes everything become clear. Your ideas expressed become alive rather than just distorted bits of questions. Getting thoughts down on paper allows you to see more from the cartoon most likely than you first did. And you may find you know more than what you initially knew too. –Kirk