Paving Way for Generations of Black Americans

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There is an art display placed on the side of the Lewis K. Downing building located on the main campus of Howard University. The sculpture displays two African American students and above them are five symbols. As both of their hands come together, there is a symbol at the top of their hands. The symbol is an equal sign. This equal sign represents unity among the black community. This sculpture is also very uplifting because beneath the students is roots. It is almost as if the photo is displaying the fact that Black students are the root of their success. The five key symbols also are significant to Black students on Howard’s campus to understand their goals and aspirations, in addition to understanding their abilities. Catlett’s sculpture is displayed at Howard University because she was voted to do so by faculty, due to her amazing work. The college wanted a display on the side of their science and engineering building. There is always this connotation that Black people are not capable of having careers in of Science. Catlett added this piece of unity so that there’d be liberty and peace among the young Black generations that would follow. The fact that it is placed on the campus of Howard University, one of the most know Historically Black colleges and universities, makes this sculpture so much more special to Black students. Given the fact that education wasn’t necessarily created for us, Black women like Catlett reminds us of our history. Rituals and Ruins is a museum exhibition that shares the art of Ms. Buchanan, who was an African American artist. There is a display of her art in Brooklyn, New York. Buchanan’s display of architecture are small homes some of which are colorful, but some of which are just brown. Her take on these small homes are identical to slave shacks. When looking up Buchanan’s art, I noticed that multiple images of women and men outside of homes popped up. One can infer that these were white owned slaves’ homes in areas of predominantly Black people. This is significant because she is using her art as a platform to display the restrictions that slavery put on Black bodies. With these small shacks, she says a lot about slavery, which critiques America. The colorful shacks reveal a sense of beauty, even though slavery wasn’t. The brown homes resemble a sense of what Blacks went through. It is a clear reminder of oppression, yet resilience as well.