Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Positive and negative images

Google images kategale.fileswordpress.com
This image of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969 shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin saluting the American flag on the surface of the moon.
It celebrates the fact that the United States of America has succeeded in becoming the first to land a man on the moon, ahead of its rival Russia. It promotes the scientific and technological excellence required to achieve this goal with the USA leading the world in space exploration.
Placing the flag on the moon's surface suggests the conquering of another frontier, much as the settlers over more than three centuries had braved the rigours of living as pioneers in the new world. The concept that difficulties and dangers were challenged and overcome.
The flag adds kudos in advertising America to the world as a great nation through this positive photographic image.

Google images blackpast.org
This next image is a troubling one, taken during the Detroit race riot in 1943, which certainly does not further the rosier picture of the American dream. Several white men are dragging a black man from what appears to be a vehicle.
These riots occurred twenty years before the well publicised riots and unrest of the 1960s.
It illustrates that there were many tensions and hostilities between races and cultures that ran contrary to the aspirations and declarations of freedom and equality. Observations would encourage us to see that those freedoms had provisos depending on the peoples' willingness to embrace all of its aims and depended on their prejudices and how it affected them personally.
Jill Glazier

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