Social Studies 9 students were tasked with creating a personal response to an artistic representation/response to the African slave trade. Each student chose something that spoke to them, whether it was an etching from 1870 or The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano. They had full freedom to decide on the type of response they created with regards to one aspect of cultural response to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Some chose to do art pieces, others essays, poems, songs, and there was even a podcast. Some of the art pieces are shared below.
Holly Johnson, Teacher
Harriet Tubman was helping slaves escape, there where two slaves that were fighting off the slave owners to help save there friend. Although she saved 300 slaves, sadly not all the slaves could be saved and that is why I put the two slaves there. And it’s sort of a way to show the people that sacrificed themselves for the sake of others and that can be put in the perspective of Jesus where he puts people in front and does the right thing. In conclusion Harriet Tubman was not only sending a message by saving all those slaves but she was also putting others before herself. Joshua K.
The topic that I did my research on is paintings depicting Africans painted by Africans. The painting that inspired the piece I created is The Thankful Poor by Henry Ossawa Tanner. Most of the art surrounding the topic of slavery that I see are depicting their suffering and the tragic events that they had to go through. While I acknowledge and try to understand to the best of my abilities that part of African-American history, these people are so much more than just victims, and there is so much else that makes up their identities. Beyond being subjected to slavery, African-Americans are people, and they are people each with their own life and their own stories. I drew a “textbook” depiction of black people, which is a composition that showed what they are stereotypically known for: victims to slavery.Masked behind that is an African-American family having dinner together while living under the poor conditions they were given as slaves.This is really just an ordinary and humane activity that happens among all people regardless of race, which shows a part of this family’s identity that is beyond what they are stereotypically known for. I wanted to honor that sentiment, and this is what my art piece is. Lucy J.