Afrcana Folklore (powerpoint)

Using Art to promote positive self image in African American youth

Slide #1. After the US Civil War, photography was used to show the new image of African Americans as newly liberated respectful citizens. Photos in the slide show the path from slavery to war, to emancipation and the new image of African Americans.

Slide #2. Before the Summer Olympics of 1936 in Berlin during the Nazi regime Hitler’s propaganda promoted “Aryan racial superiority” and depicted ethnic Africans as inferior. Jesse Owens, a super athlete of his era, humiliated Hitler by winning 4 gold medals.  Owens showed to the world that racial prejudice was a lie and was well respected and liked by his peers regardless of race. His accomplishments were celebrated in all media as slide #2 shows.

Slide #3. Muhammad Ali: The boxing champion who chose to lose his boxing license and championship titles and to be convicted to 5 years in prison rather than betray his ideals of peace. When he was reinstated after 4 years of no training he won the world championship again defeating the most feared boxers of his time (Frazier and Foreman). Ali was frequently saying he was fighting for the oppressed African Americans and he was criticizing other famous athletes who did not share his ideals for racial equality.

Slide #4. Martin Luther King: Perhaps no one did more for Civil Rights in the USA than Martin Luther King. He used peaceful means (e.g., civil disobedience) and he also fought against poverty, the Vietnam War and other causes. He was murdered for his beliefs. He received the highest honors of the US government and the Nobel Peace Prize. Martin Luther King Day is a US Federal Government Holiday to commemorate his legacy.

Slide #5. Barak Hussein Obama is the First US African American President and the 44th president of the United States. He received the Nobel Peace Prize and fought hard for healthcare access for all Americans. He defeated Osama Bin Laden thus strengthening US national security.

Slide #6. Nelson Mandela: He was the first African President of South Africa (from 1994 to 1999) and the major anti-apartheid figure in his countries (and perhaps global) history. He managed to end apartheid peacefully and to lead his country to democracy. He stayed in prison for 27 years as a political prisoner and although he was offered the opportunity to be freed if he would abandon his political and democratic activities, he preferred to stay imprisoned. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace and he died in 2013.

Slide #7. Black Nobel Prize Winners in Science and Literature: Although as we saw there were many African and African Nobel Prize winners for Piece, there are also several winners in the science and literature categories. These are not discussed as often although it is very important to recognize that African Americans and other people of color have attained huge achievements not only in the political and civil rights arena but also in the arts, sports, and pop culture, and in the highest intellectual levels such as exemplified by the Nobel prize winners in the slide.

Slide #8. The African American contributors of tomorrow. Although there are numerous examples of high achievers in all walks of life from the African American community  who have been celebrated by photography and all media I chose to devote the last slide of my presentation to The Next Generation of Future Contributors to Society and Humanity. They are the ones that will shape a brighter future for all humanity.

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