She's a Brick...House: An analysis of meaning and memorialization of two monuments of Black women in the United States regarding nation and race
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GKA VISUAL 2022: 8th International Conference on Visual Culture
Memorialization monument Black women Patrick Hutton Toni Morrison nation race Collective memory
Within the last decade or so, the United States has begun to commemorate and memorialize through monuments the contributions of Black women. In contrast, historically and generally most all of the US monuments, including commemorative memorials of wars and fallen soldiers, feature prominent white, male figures. Examples include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, selected Civil War generals, plus major Civil Rights activists like MLK Jr. In most all these cases, the subjects of collective memory and memorialization are white men, with a few exceptions. Since the advent of the MeToo movement and Black Lives Matter, advocates are calling for greater inclusion of minority women and their contributions. A case in point is the scarcity of memorials featuring minority black women. Memorials and monuments are rich historical and political evidence of how a society favors specific ethic groups. The more monuments, the more valued is that ethnic group, the less monuments, the less valued. Therefore, as monuments of a minority group begin to grow, we can learn much about race, politics, and ethnic value of this group. For this reason, an analysis of two monuments of Black women should provide an important and crucial discussion of the collective US formation of race and national perspective. In this paper, I will analyze the meaning and memorialization behind two monuments of Black women in the United States in connection to the parameters of nation and race.