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Frederick Douglass's Narrative and Margaret Rouke White's photographs At the Time of
the Louisville Flood (1937).
THEME-Analyzing the relevance of Margaret Rouke White's photographs At the Time of
the Louisville Flood (1937) to African American history and experience in the late 1930s,
and compare and contrast this history and experience with the experience of Fredrick
Douglas as depicted in Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, an American Slave (1845).
Frederick Douglass is an important figure in the history of Blacks. He was born into slavery, escaped to
the north, wrote popular autobiographies and became one of the powerful voices against slavery in the
nation. He spent twenty years as a slave and about nine years as a fugitive slave. By the time of Douglass
death, he already attained an international fame as an editor, abolitionist, orator, and author of many
books. He was an influential civil and human rights advocate in the 19
th
century who never hid from the
truth and left a great legacy. Douglass drew the attention of the 19
th
century U.S and England audiences
on the horrors slaves endured as enslaved Americans. He spoke against the physical violence and
indignities suffered by slaves as well as the hypocrisy of a country that preaches liberty for all yet holds
slaves.
Despite the difficulties he had in life, he taught himself how to read and became one of the famous
African Americans. Douglass had great writing and oratory skills to communicate his hunger for African
American slaves to be freed and this led to the Emancipation Proclamation by the former president
Abraham Lincoln. He published “Frederick Douglass” and “The North Star” paper while trying to convey
his message (The North Star was renamed to “Frederick Douglass” paper. After the president, Abraham
Lincoln, abolished slavery, Douglass fought for civil rights and encouraged African Americans to take
responsibility for their actions and develop their own skills. He believed African Americans had to show
proof that they deserved citizenship and also have the ability to shape their future. He recruited African
American soldiers for the civil war and encouraged them to be a part of the Union Army as this will
influence America to accept them due to their contributions to the society.
His story was an inspiration to people and he believed that positive changes can result to individual
transformation that can positively affect the society. He fought for black civil rights and also fought
against their loss during restructuring. Later, Douglass went ahead to support and fight for women’s
rights and suffrage long before they were achieved. Although his work did not start receiving
international attention until 1960s when the flowering of African American history and culture started
and slavery started receiving an increased attention. Douglass is an important figure in the black
American history and his autobiographies continue to be studied by literature scholars and historians.
His speeches and writings are also receiving a lot of attention. His story is relevant to the Black American
history because it embodies the dream of America to overcome obstacles and reach its goals. The
distance he travelled during his lifetime is an inspiration to modern Americans who believe that if he
could achieve much even with his humble beginnings, their own dreams can also be achieved.
His willingness to dedicate his life to struggle for civil rights and the abolition of slavery kept him at the
forefront of the African Americans history.
For people who lived through the era of the Great Depression and people who did not witness the war
but learnt about it through books and movies, the photograph by Margaret Bourke-White portrays a
perfect picture and a perfect description of the period. She is the first female photographer and the first
female war photographer who was allowed into the combat zones (work) during the second World War.
Showing Page:
2/2
A natural disaster occurred in the mid West of United States of America in 1937, which involved the
Ohio River flooding its banks and killing more than 400 people and rendering thousands of people
homeless. Margaret Bourke-White was a photo journalist who was sent by the Life magazine to cover
the flood. When Margaret arrived at Louisville, she saw that more than half of the town had been
flooded and the flood affected the Black Americans more than the others and they needed assistance
fromRed Cross relief agencies. Margaret took a picture of a queue of black flood victims who were
standing to get food in front of a poster from the National Association of Manufacturers. The poster was
celebrating the American way of life. The poster had a smiling white family of four who were in a car
under a banner that read “World’s Highest Standard of Loving”.The photograph was not to be used to
discuss poverty or inequality, yet it has been repeatedly used to discuss those topics.
Through the photograph, Margaret depicted the Living standards of the African American(1930) in
reality compared to the “American dream”. It showed an honest depiction of the suffering of the flood
victims and the billboard made mockery of the flood victims. The slogans that read “The World’s Highest
Standard of Living”and “ There is no way like the American way” has a callous tone that describes the
White Capitalists way of living as the ideal way of living in contrast to the real experiences of the people
who were under the banner. Although US was dealing with depression and people(African Americans)
were being displaced from their homes , the individuals in the poster were well dressed and all had
smiling faces. This has political and social implications as the poster contrasted with reality. The image
continues to be relevant because it paints a clear picture of the hardships encountered by African
Americans.
Comparing Frederick’s narrative with Margaret’s photograph shows that both share similar themes.
Frederick Douglass’ theme was centered on oppression and inequality. His narrative drew attention to
the oppression and inequality African Americans suffer as slaves and the inequality existing among the
Americans, which places African Americans below the whites. Margaret White’s work on the other hand
also focused on the existing inequality. The photograph showed a clear picture of the ideal lifestyle of
the Americans while the homeless African Americans who queued to receive food under the poster
showed evidence of the difference in living standards between the White Americans and the African
Americans. Frederick was a popular figure that fought for civil rights and stood up against slave trade
and Margaret’s photograph has also been used over the years to address similar problems.
On the other hand, both works also share contrasting views. The poster in the photograph of Margaret
depicted a perfect standard of living for Americans. All the persons in the picture all appeared happy
and had good living conditions while Frederick’a narrative shared an opposing view of Americans. It
talked about the sufferings and poor standard of living of some of the Americans.
Frederick’s work addressed slavery while that of Margaret addressed the living standards of living.
Frederick used his narrative to speak to the people about the need to abolish slavery, protect the rights
of women and civil rights but Margaret used her photograph to speak about the economic recession
facing the country, the racism and the unfair treatment and living conditions of the African Americans. It
spoke about the wealth disparity of the Great Depression, the economic and political domination of the
blacks by the whites and the need to address it.
In conclusion, both works play a significant role in the history of African Americans. Both drew attention
of people to the social and economical challenges facing African Americans in reality as opposed to the
unrealistic image created by the government.

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Frederick Douglass's Narrative and Margaret Rouke White's photographs At the Time of the Louisville Flood (1937). THEME-Analyzing the relevance of Margaret Rouke White's photographs At the Time of the Louisville Flood (1937) to African American history and experience in the late 1930s, and compare and contrast this history and experience with the experience of Fredrick Douglas as depicted in Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, an American Slave (1845). Frederick Douglass is an important figure in the history of Blacks. He was born into slavery, escaped to the north, wrote popular autobiographies and became one of the powerful voices against slavery in the nation. He spent twenty years as a slave and about nine years as a fugitive slave. By the time of Douglass’ death, he already attained an international fame as an editor, abolitionist, orator, and author of many books. He was an influential civil and human rights advocate in the 19th century who never hid from the truth and left a great legacy. Douglass drew the attention of the 19th century U.S and England audiences on the horrors slaves endured as enslaved Americans. He spoke against the physical violence and indignities suffered by slaves as well as the hypocrisy of a country that preaches liberty for all yet holds slaves. Despite the difficulties he had in life, he taught himself how to read and became one of the famous African Americans. Douglass had great writing and oratory skills to communicate his hunger for African American slaves to be freed and this led to the Emancipation Proclamation by the former president Abraham Lincoln. He published “Frederick Douglass” and “The North Star” paper while trying to convey his message (The North Star was renamed to “Frederick Douglass” paper. After the president, Abraham Lincoln, abolished slavery, Douglass fought for civil rights and encouraged African Americans to take responsibility for their actions and develop their own skills. He believed African Americans had to show proof that they deserved citizenship and also have the ability to shape their future. He recruited African American soldiers for the civil war and encouraged them to be a part of the Union Army as this will influence America to accept them due to their contributions to the society. His story was an inspiration to people and he believed that positive changes can result to individual transformation that can positively affect the society. He fought for black civil rights and also fought against their loss during restructuring. Later, Douglass went ahead to support and fight for women’s rights and suffrage long before they were achieved. Although his work did not start receiving international attention until 1960s when the flowering of African American history and culture started and slavery started receiving an increased attention. Douglass is an important figure in the black American history and his autobiographies continue to be studied by literature scholars and historians. His speeches and writings are also receiving a lot of attention. His story is relevant to the Black American history because it embodies the dream of America to overcome obstacles and reach its goals. The distance he travelled during his lifetime is an inspiration to modern Americans who believe that if he could achieve much even with his humble beginnings, their own dreams can also be achieved. His willingness to dedicate his life to struggle for civil rights and the abolition of slavery kept him at the forefront of the African Americans history. For people who lived through the era of the Great Depression and people who did not witness the war but learnt about it through books and movies, the photograph by Margaret Bourke-White portrays a perfect picture and a perfect description of the period. She is the first female photographer and the first female war photographer who was allowed into the combat zones (work) during the second World War. A natural disaster occurred in the mid West of United States of America in 1937, which involved the Ohio River flooding its banks and killing more than 400 people and rendering thousands of people homeless. Margaret Bourke-White was a photo journalist who was sent by the Life magazine to cover the flood. When Margaret arrived at Louisville, she saw that more than half of the town had been flooded and the flood affected the Black Americans more than the others and they needed assistance fromRed Cross relief agencies. Margaret took a picture of a queue of black flood victims who were standing to get food in front of a poster from the National Association of Manufacturers. The poster was celebrating the American way of life. The poster had a smiling white family of four who were in a car under a banner that read “World’s Highest Standard of Loving”.The photograph was not to be used to discuss poverty or inequality, yet it has been repeatedly used to discuss those topics. Through the photograph, Margaret depicted the Living standards of the African American(1930) in reality compared to the “American dream”. It showed an honest depiction of the suffering of the flood victims and the billboard made mockery of the flood victims. The slogans that read “The World’s Highest Standard of Living”and “ There is no way like the American way” has a callous tone that describes the White Capitalists way of living as the ideal way of living in contrast to the real experiences of the people who were under the banner. Although US was dealing with depression and people(African Americans) were being displaced from their homes , the individuals in the poster were well dressed and all had smiling faces. This has political and social implications as the poster contrasted with reality. The image continues to be relevant because it paints a clear picture of the hardships encountered by African Americans. Comparing Frederick’s narrative with Margaret’s photograph shows that both share similar themes. Frederick Douglass’ theme was centered on oppression and inequality. His narrative drew attention to the oppression and inequality African Americans suffer as slaves and the inequality existing among the Americans, which places African Americans below the whites. Margaret White’s work on the other hand also focused on the existing inequality. The photograph showed a clear picture of the ideal lifestyle of the Americans while the homeless African Americans who queued to receive food under the poster showed evidence of the difference in living standards between the White Americans and the African Americans. Frederick was a popular figure that fought for civil rights and stood up against slave trade and Margaret’s photograph has also been used over the years to address similar problems. On the other hand, both works also share contrasting views. The poster in the photograph of Margaret depicted a perfect standard of living for Americans. All the persons in the picture all appeared happy and had good living conditions while Frederick’a narrative shared an opposing view of Americans. It talked about the sufferings and poor standard of living of some of the Americans. Frederick’s work addressed slavery while that of Margaret addressed the living standards of living. Frederick used his narrative to speak to the people about the need to abolish slavery, protect the rights of women and civil rights but Margaret used her photograph to speak about the economic recession facing the country, the racism and the unfair treatment and living conditions of the African Americans. It spoke about the wealth disparity of the Great Depression, the economic and political domination of the blacks by the whites and the need to address it. In conclusion, both works play a significant role in the history of African Americans. Both drew attention of people to the social and economical challenges facing African Americans in reality as opposed to the unrealistic image created by the government. Name: Description: ...
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