Monday, November 29, 2010

Representation & Racism

Front of one of the hand fans
from Candice Jackson's exhibit "The Hand I Fan With."

There's a long and distinguished history in this country of racist cartoons and photographic imagery designed to mock and distort perceptions of African Americans. More importantly, I suppose, the images were designed to entertain white people.

In many ways, a number of the images highlighted in Professor Candice Jackson's exhibit "The Hand I Fan With: Hand Fans As Sites of Racial and Cultural Memory" document features of the disturbing histories of anti-black, thoroughly racist ideology projected through deceptively simplistic drawings and illustrations. Of course those histories aren't so distant.

This past October, a group of white students from SIU's School of Dental Medicine decided to dress up in dunce hats and wear black-face for a Halloween party. Just having fun, they said. Didn't mean to be offensive, they said.


The Hand I Fan With: Hand Fans As Sites of Racial and Cultural Memory


Joe Brown said...

I heard that a certain group of racist cartoons known as "The Censored Eleven" is going to be relased on DVD next year. I was shocked when I heard the news that one of them made the list of the top 100 list of all time cartoons, and I believe that they are censored for a reason. Shouldn't this be protested so they don' become "The Uncensored Eleven"?

Anonymous said...

They're not dunce caps. They were coneheads. Check your sources.

H. Rambsy said...

@ Anonymous. Check the source of coneheads.

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, does it really matter if it was a dunce cap or a conehead? What's most offensive to me is that in this day and age some people don't have any sense in understanding that going around in black face is not acceptable. Period. Trying to justify those offensive acts is also unacceptable. Period.