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Slave Rape #1, #2, #3. (1972).

I was looking through the Glenstone Gallery online because I applied for a job interview at their museum, and I stumbled across 3 pieces of social artwork that called to my attention: Slave Rape #1: Fear Will Make You Weak, Slave Rape #2: Run, You Might Get Away, and Slave Rape #3: Fight to Save Your Life. These works were created by Faith Ringgold, who was extremely active during the fight for Civil Rights and the Harlem Renaissance. She recently passed away on April 12th of this year.

Displayed above on the left is Slave Rape #1, while on the Right is Slave Rape #2. On the bottom features Slave Rape #3.

These slave rape quilts depict the story of a slave named Beata, who she and her mother was forced to endure a rape during her capture. Mixed in with the traditional African quilt structure, it connects Beata with her culture, and although she has been humiliated and violated in such a way, in her roots she will always be what her culture represents. I believe that Ringgold depicted Beata with a traditional African culture and art style as a sign of respect- she has endured such hardships due to the fact of her color, but it is also a sense of her pride. Additionally, it also shows humanity within the story- the strengthened bond of family between Beata and her mother allows the viewer to appreciate that the slaves were able to find comfort in their community going through similar experiences. Ringgold's depiction of Beata's story also spreads awareness of the horror of the historical events in the slave trade, making it an effective use of social artwork. She's able to effectively draw attention to the sexism in slavery, while also condemning the overall practice.

This is an artwork that I want to check out when I revisit the museum, and I hope my next post to include some pictures of sculptures or social artwork from Glenstone!

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