Thelma Golden by Amanda Dobbin

After reading about slavery taking the presence of the art world, I became extremely intrigued by its influence on people as a whole. First and foremost, I think it is specifically interesting that slavery was incorporated in art in such a powerful and guiding way. Secondly, the challenges the people encountered in order to produce such a powerful work is astonishing.

In Thelma Golden’s piece about black men represented in art, she points out the fact that African-Americans throughout history and since slavery have been seen as lesser than the average white man. ¬†As Thelma says, “The black male body, fetishized and overdetermined, is the site on which popular culture sometimes expresses itself… It is where the black body is considered as object and subject.” To me, this was extremely interesting due to the fact that I believe that Thelma is pointing out that making the black male body the subject and the object, it becomes an art form in itself. Thus, I relate this back to Greek and Roman times where the perfect male body was often represented in religious connotations. Why was there never a perfect African-American body produced in such a manner? Why has there not been one produced like that today without the immediate distinction of the body being “dark?” With this, it is clear to me that history yet today has far to advance away from typical stereotypes including skin color and race as well as gender.

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