Drawing on Display at Newark Library Depicting Graphic Scene Between Black Female Slave and White Man Sparks Outrage

kara walker newark library drawing Drawing on Display at Newark Library Depicting Graphic Scene Between Black Female Slave and White Man Sparks Outrage

Drawing on Display at Newark Library Depicting Graphic Scene Between Black Female Slave and White Man Sparks Outrage

Outrage as the Newark Public Library put on display a portrait that shows a black female slave having sex with a white man. The drawing, created by black artist Kara Walker, portrays the horrors many blacks faced after the Civil War and during Reconstruction. It also depicts hooded Ku Klux Klan members standing around a burning cross. The painting was originally on display during Thanksgiving on the library’s second-floor reference room, but it was covered with cloth after workers complained it was insensitive.

The question of freedom of expression weighs heavily in this controversy, but where do we draw the line? Do we want children staring at a painting of a black slave caught in such a compromising position? There were grotesque incidents that occurred during America’s darkest days, but we must be mindful that slavery and racism are sensitive subjects for many, both black and white.

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 Drawing on Display at Newark Library Depicting Graphic Scene Between Black Female Slave and White Man Sparks Outrage
Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.
  • Wonderer

    Why blur out the woman’s head and shoulders but leave her anus pucker and shaven labia majora in full view?
    This part of the artpiece is anachronistic modern day porn posing as quasi-“history.” Maybe more the artist’s personal desire?