• Uncategorized




Inan attempt to showcase the historical events which led to theculmination of the citizens’ long struggle, and the convergence ofthe people’s aspirations, the Smithsonian`s National Museum ofAfrican American History and Culture partnered with the AmericanLibrary Association Public Programs Office to exhibit &quotChangingAmerica: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and The March onWashington, 19631.Basing their work on the inventive interaction, which had beendeveloped by the museum, the version by Smithsonian, examines thedevelopments and the attendant impacts of the people’s struggles togain freedom in a historical perspective, resulting in theEmancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in1963. As so, the exhibit was organized in panels with each oneavailing its narration as concerns the movements. I choose Slaveryin Americain my desire to delve into the episodes that seek to explain detailedstruggles by the slaves to achieve their freedom and recognition onthe face of spirited resistance by their captors. The outstandingattribute is that the section explicates how the slaves were handledand the victims’ consequent attempts to gain freedom in the periodsbefore 1863. The audience targeted by this exercise, which arestudents of history and literature, are presented with an analysisthat will aid in the synchronization of their academic assignmentsand related endeavors. Indeed, it is from the interrogation of theavailable artworks that the current generation is bound to create aconnection with the past, appreciating the roles as were played byvarious actors, besides the underlying societal benefits associatedwith analytical expositions.

Richin photographs, texts, and drawings, the exhibition captures the mostdemeaning episodes in the way expressed through writing, artistryillustrations drawn to express feelings and the then prevailingcircumstances and the shreds of evidence presented as a result ofcamera work. Noticeably, all these expressions contain theaspirations, struggles and the patronization of black captives whowere subjected to gruesome treatment and degrading labor conditions.Also, the exhibition of the panel was useful in maintaining its themewithin the entire parade thereby managing to keep its viewers engagedin three discernable ways: through the choice of color, a variety ofitems presented, and the flow of the layout. In its preview, theaudience is exposed to a red background at the beginning of the panelsignifying an area where most relevant information is located2.With a complimenting text, the description also had a picture of alady, Harriet Tubman, together with some slaves she assisted infreeing. As so, the indication would not appear obvious as one couldhardly make out on the onset, the meanings of different colors. Thered part was made to contrast with the subsequent parts, which wereorganized alternately between black and white colors, offering adepiction of the lapsed time from the atrocities as printing couldnot be expressed in multi-colored forms.

People’sself-emancipatory efforts were particularly noteworthy in theexhibition. Though two-dimensional, the display played an integralrole in trying to communicate the courage borne by the captives whowere determined to shed off the shackles of slavery and theheartlessness of the captors. In showing so, the audience tends toidentify with characters they feel either are villains or heroesduring the ordeal as would be informed by either age or sex of thesaid artists. In this regard, many adults would easily remember NutTurner and John Brown, while the younger generation had HarrietTubman glued in their memories3.The abductors, who viewed their subjects as tools and means tonarrowing America’s hard labor deficits, managed to stir intenseinterest. More so, the viewers were in a position to both getemotional and entertained, even though the former was more prevalentfollowing the brutalities and inhuman handling of slaves that wereassociated with servitude, and as the retrospection showed. Thephotos, texts, and the punctuating literature presented differentcontents as embraced in the intent of the conspicuous outlay ofartifacts, dwellings and the people themselves. Aided by an intricatelayout, the piece passed forth its theme though without directindication to the implicit ideal issues, which would be vital ininstilling a sense of reconciliation and unity among citizens.Furthermore, the panel did not make enough effort to transit theviewers from the past occurrences to the present given the dynamicsthat the post-slavery periods have undergone.

Inconclusion, the relevance of the panel worked to demonstrate to theheirs the tussles the black Americans bore to gain a sense ofrecognition and freedom in the United States of America. Theexhibition serves to remind the audience of the journey andconcessions that good citizens must take and equally give to fosterand realize a cohesive society that upholds the dignity of all.Besides, the students and researchers alike are capable of derivinglifelong skills to propel their various academic and relatedaccomplishments. The work also underscores the themes supplementarywith humanity and the need for activism in action and art.


Smith,Gerald L., Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin, eds. TheKentucky African

AmericanEncyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

1Smith, Gerald L., Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin, eds. The Kentucky African

American Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

2 Smith, Gerald L., Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin, eds. The Kentucky African

American Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

3 Smith, Gerald L., Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin, eds. The Kentucky African

American Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.