“Thank You, Thank you very much!”
American involvement in slavery resulted in the systemic theft of black culture, families, and lives. Enslaved individuals were forcibly separated from their families, eroding the foundation of kinship and support. The cultural heritage of Africans was exploited, as their traditions, languages, and artistic expressions were suppressed or appropriated. This cultural theft perpetuated a cycle of erasure, denying black communities the opportunity to pass down their rich heritage.
Elvis Presley’s fame exemplifies this theft. He achieved acclaim by appropriating elements of black music, notably rhythm and blues, while black artists faced barriers due to racial discrimination. This cultural exploitation contributed to the marginalization of black musicians and the continuation of systemic inequalities.
The legacy of slavery persists today, evident in disparities across education, employment, and criminal justice. Acknowledging this history is essential for understanding and dismantling systemic racism, fostering inclusivity, and restoring agency to black communities. It is imperative to rectify these injustices through continued efforts to promote equity, representation, and the celebration of diverse cultures.
size: 10″ x 14″ x .75″ | Mixed media on board | 2023
© 2023 Jeff Kahn