Race and Homosexuality: Art During the Fight for Rights in America

This research paper analyzes images from the eras of the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement in America in order to determine how photographers of the Gay Rights Movement referenced the photography of the Civil Rights Movement and how they uniquely used images to promote the cause.  Through research of the individual movements and analysis of images depicting certain aspects of the movements, such as protests, suffering, leaders, and victory, I have claimed that photographers of the Gay Rights Movement from the 1970s and into the 21st century have drawn inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s but have also gone beyond the tactics of the these artists by appealing to the public by portraying a wide range of emotions, from happiness to anguish, among those fighting for the cause.  The images and other evidence comes from sources such as Seeing Through Race by Martin A. Berger and Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture by Jonathan D. Katz and David C. Ward.  The method of a side-by-side comparison of an image from each measure effectively shows the similarities and differences of the techniques of the two groups of photographers. [194 words]

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5 thoughts on “Race and Homosexuality: Art During the Fight for Rights in America”

  1. Using a side-by-side comparison should really help support your claim.

    In you research, did you happen to find out where the photographers of the 1960s drew their inspiration from when they covered the Civil Rights Movement? I’m curious if these photographers developed original methods and tactics, or if they “borrowed” them from some one.

  2. I think this is a very interesting idea and comparison. When doing the comparison, would you also analyze and compare the “intrinsic” meaning? In other words, not only compare the physical images but also examine the parallels between the two types of images for the messages being portrayed and the reactions they received.

  3. I really, really like the idea of a side by side comparison. I know you mention a lot of similarities between the photography of the two movements, but I’m wondering if you also noticed any differences between the two?

  4. I think this is interesting comparison. There should be many pictures that you will be able to compare to see if modern day photographers really are using the same methods. My question is why are Gay Rights Movement photographers using the Civil Rights Movement photography as the original to copy from as opposed to another movement? Was there something about this photography that is similar or useful to photography used in the Gay Rights Movement?

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