The Return of the Soldier, Charles White, 1946, African American Odyssey,Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query
This post is pretty eerie, and I think that it represents something that is pretty unfamiliar to me. In today’s day in age it’s pretty explicit that soldiers are nicely welcomed back to the states. The idea is to hate the game not the player when it comes to welcoming home troops. Yeah sure there are issues with veterans getting jobs and readjusting back to civilian lifestyle, but overall it’s not as though people go out of their way to be rude to soldiers. In this picture race is playing a huge role because it is bunch African American soldiers being oppressed by a white police officer who is linking arms with a Ku Klux Klan member. That’s irony. Because these are soldiers who went off to war, and put their life on the line for that police officer or Ku Klux Klan member, and yet they still can’t give the African American soldiers a break. Part of the reason none of the Axis powers set foot on American soil is because African Americans made sacrifices for their country.
I think that the artist was trying to say when he sketched this was that, ‘Yeah the whole world is in conflict, but the U.S. still has some serious problems domestically.’ World War II was one of the most fragile time periods of the 20th century, which included the most horrible atrocities in Europe known to man, yet this sketch reminds us that there were still some awful atrocities going on back home. In the 40’s racism was still alive and very prevalent, despite the other conflicts in the world. It reminds us that not every soldier was rewarded for their back breaking work.