I came up with the dialogue for “Cinderella, Cinderella” by creating a short but accurate summary of the classic, Cinderella, incorporating assets from Mirror, Mirror. There was something about the words “black bitch” in Mirror, Mirror that seemed so degrading and hateful that it sat with me. So, I decided to create a prince who would completely turn his back on someone he fell in love with just because the color of their skin. It’s a statement on how prejudice can be present anywhere, even in your own favorite fairytale.
The teenager in magenta sits alone with her headphones, choosing to ignore the adults over their fighting.
The white woman in red is ejected from the black male artists’ studio after trying to join them.
A white teenager in red is comforted from depression by a young black male in green.
At first glance, there seems to be no correlation between these three events, but when looking at the bigger picture all becomes clear. These are all descriptions of the images depicted in Lorraine O’ Grady’s Rivers, First Draft a series of photographs taken from a performance in Central Park. Lorraine O’ Grady is a black female artist, with a background in economics, Spanish literature, government, and music. Her broad background largely influenced her in her critique and art making. Her content is largely political, and focuses on black female subjectivity, using various media to get her message across. Her work is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum as a part of the exhibit “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-1985”. Throughout the series there are various connections made between cultures, primarily Caucasian and African‐ American, depicting how they interact with one another at different points in time. Through a child, a teenager, and an adult, Lorraine O’Grady explores important themes relevant to today’s society, including the race barrier and rape. I loved how the piece connected cultures during a certain period of time and separated them at another. As a teenager, the white young woman in red falls in love with the black young male without any objection. However, when the white woman in red tries to join the group of black male artists in yellow, she is ejected, an accurate portrayal as to how separated we as a society are. Although we all live together and share our Earth, many cultures still aren’t accepted among other groups. After being ejected from the group of black male artists, the white woman is encountered with the Debauchees and raped by them while the black male artists continue in their art making. I found this particularly interesting because usually the situation is flipped, with the black female being raped while white people stand by and do nothing. At one point in the series, the teenager in magenta lays on the ground in a fetus position covering her ears, choosing to ignore the adults over their fighting. The white woman in red is ejected by the white woman in gold, causing distress among the teenager in the next frame. The teenager is upset about someone being ejected for a reason unclear to her. This illustrates how ridiculous fighting can be to the point where people choose
to ignore it. Lorraine O’Grady is sending the message that we as a society should simply address the problems we face and find a resolution instead of ignoring them and letting them happen, a message made clear through her work Rivers, First Draft.
Being a social activist is not easy job as you have to fight every single day as if it is your
last day to live. I, Bethany, am a social activist, who has been fighting for rights for black
people for years. I have gone to different places in the US to help those who don’t feel
belonged to their community and make them aware of the issue that exists between black
and white people. I am 30 years old and have been living in Birmingham, Alabama for pretty
much my entire life. Much of my loved one live within Alabama supporting me in whatever I
do. While the rest live in other states within the US. The people of Birmingham are
extremely friendly and kind-hearted making you feel connected and creating a sense of a
community. The fall of the colorful leaves and the ray of the sunshine light up my
neighborhood like a masterpiece all together. Yet, I have seen too much discrimination
among black and whites for too long and I believe that it is time that we come together to
fight this battle. One day as I was walking home I saw a black and white man fighting one
another and saying things that were unimaginable. I kept on walking however, as I was
walking a thought came up in my head. Rather than walking by and ignoring what was
happening I should be proactive and do something to stop this horrible fight that was
going on. After contemplating, I went over to the two men and tried what I could do to
stop the fight. I had to scream and yell to make my voice heard
“Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, what is going on?”
Black guy; “ This man right here is refusing to give my wallet back which he stole. I
asked him for it and he started saying nasty stuff to me”
White guy: “ I did not steal his wallet. He is lying. He is started to threaten me””
As this point I did not know who to believe but I asked the white guy for the black man
wallet and after much resisting and screaming he finally returned his wallet to the white
This is just one instance but I have gone on to fight for black women as well. Making sure
that they are given the proper education they deserve and are able to express their
thoughts just like any other person. I have gone on protests to make people’s voice heard
and advocate on their behalf to stand up for what they believe in. I have tried to spread
this message across to inspire others who are trying to fight for a similar cause. I not
only fight for civil rights but also feminism, african-american culture, and so on. I believe
that women should be strong-minded and confident who they are in. They should be able to
exercise certain rights just like white women and men. They should become a part of
society without feeling marginalized. When I walk the streets and I see young little girls I
imagine them to become strong and intelligent young ladies that can change the world. I
hope that others believe in what I believe and I will still fight till my goal isn’t achieved.