Unit 4-March Book 2 panel: Juxtaposition of a Bright Future and a Violent Past

By Lilly Sandoval

pages 80-81

The pictorial depiction which stood out to me most was a large panel found on pages 80-81 in March Book 2. The image of a woman singing in front of hundreds of people is such a huge contrast from the smaller images photos. They are two different time periods, the image of the woman singing is from U.S Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2009 versus the 6 snapshots spread throughout the two pages from Montgomery, AL on May 20 in 1961. 

The image of the singer is the focal point of the two pages combined. The secondary focal point, or where my eyes were drawn to, were the speech balloons of the singer – which were lyrics speaking of liberty, pride, freedom, and brightness for the country. All of these words give into the theme of a future, and current time, which has gone into the positive direction for civil rights. Progressiveness can also be seen in the fact that this was when Barack H. Obama was elected President of the U.S. and the singer is a black female. Furthermore, the black female body isn’t hypersexualizedin any way, which shows a sense of respect for her talents, along with the power her voice has over such a huge audience.  

In contrast, there are 6 snapshots from 1961 in which no such progressiveness could’ve ever been conceivable. The graphic rhetoric used in this piece: with the absence of gutters, use of one large image of the future and a handful of  images surrounding the singer shows all of the blood which was shed in order to get to that ideal future. Each snapshot shows a different loss (1) a young boy looking down at his hands he just beat somebody with- a loss of innocence, (2) the non-violent protesters coming back from harsh beatings in which they slowly lose hope, (3) a bodied hand of a white man- loss of humanity, (4) two white men greeting each other with smiles as they have blood on their clothes, a bat in one hand and a confederate flag in the other- loss of civility, (5) the legs of a man ran over by a car, blood spilling on the street- loss of life, and (6) an officer who has a nonchalant attitude and is smoking a cigarette- loss of regards to human life. The juxtaposition of these harsh images against a bright future is hard for someone in 1961 to imagine, that their sacrifices would one day pay off.

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