This is a picture of Public Enemy on their song Fight the Power, it was taken from the music video by Spike Lee. It is a JPG file and the intent of this image is to spread awareness of the Black peoples struggles in impoverished areas in 1989. The image is slightly pixelated, but shows the point. This was created after the time period of topic.
The reason I chose this picture to represent my topic is because it represents the African American civil rights struggle in a year that is slightly more older than the civil rights struggle happening in the present day. It was also the first song that my TA, Linnea Zeiner played during the first lecture of this class. The words ‘Public Enemy’ and ‘Fight the Power’ ring in my head as I listened to this song. During 1989, there was a lot of neglect for the crime filled inner city. The African American was still seen as someone who caused trouble –a Public Enemy, no one wanted to help them and leaders of the African American population came and went due to controversial issues. Why I find this picture so significant is that even now today with the Baltimore Riots, the African Americans are still fighting for the same civil rights as everyone else. A played out riot like this is exactly what is needed nowadays now that media has finally shown light on the police cruelty that has been going on without any publicity whatsoever. The government has neglected these problems far too long and it almost seems that the negligence was intentional to further bring down the state of places in poverty. This picture represents the movement that we need nowadays: we need art, music, and people who desire equality for all. The Baltimore riots have gotten to be controversial because of multiple theft and arson, which is exactly why it is not gaining as much media support on the African American side. It would be interesting to find if they could use art as a catalyst for riot rather than violence. On the other hand, perhaps the African American public found that art in the past hasn’t stopped the unfairness brought by society and finally was forced to resort to violence to get their point across.
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