Saving Black Americana

Saving Black Americana, Gene Hetzel,
Desert Post Weekly
Think smiling Sambo or Aunt Jemima, and you begin to get an idea of
the stereotypes used in Black Americana, a once-popular line of
collectible artwork that depicted African Americans through racist
lenses. Though commonplace in this country from 1850 to 1930, Black
Americana is becoming more and more scarce as wealthy African
Americans buy up and destroy the racist items. But hold on, says
African-American student and dealer of Black Americana Gerald
Diggs. There’s history in this artwork. ‘The ugliness of hate is
only truly broached and dealt with when you bring yourself face to
face with it,’ said Diggs. ‘The destruction of these derogatory
pieces serves to turn a social monster that could be faced honestly
into a silhouette that hovers over us all, ever more powerful
without challenge.’
–Anjula
Razdan
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