Compare and Contrast
Accordingto Arogundade, the black colour made African Americans to beperceived not as beautiful. This is because the white colour wasviewed as the colour associated with beauty. Whenever photographersrepresented the blacks in a photograph, they were used to representthem with some extended facial features and ensured that theskin-tone was representative of the blacks.1Besides, also of great interest in the photographic representationwas the hair of the blacks since they were mostly depicted asconservatives of using traditional hair styles. When it came to theexpression of beauty, the Whites could not express blacks asbeautiful due to their skin colour difference. When black males wereperforming on the stage, they had to show their skin colour in orderto eliminate any confusion of their colour. This treatment of viewingAfricans as not having the beauty became conceived, since Africanshad earlier been perceived as slaves that could not be deemed tocompare with the Whites.2The aim of this assignment is to discuss how black people and cultureis depicted within the photographic industry and the impacts it mayhave on the modern day black youths. In this regard, there will be acomparison and contrast of photographer David Bailey and his image ofDonyale Luna with photographer Daniel Jackson and his image of ASAPRocky.
DanielJackson has clearly expressed the Blacks’ culture through thisimage. One of the cultural aspects that have been depicted by thephotographer is that Blacks have a culture of being conservative withtheir hair styles. From the Luna’s image, the hair style is evidentof the way Blacks are used to handling their hair. The image alsopresents a culture of overdoing make-ups. From the image, it isevident that Luna had overdone her make-ups for instance, looking atthe image, it is apparent that Luna had overdone the make-up on hereyes. The line drawn above the eyes can tell it all. Another culturalelement that is brought by this image is that of entertainment. Theimage has been used as a magazine cover in order to realize thepurpose of entertaining the masses. Luna’s image is presentedbelow
DanielJackson has used this image in expressing different aspects of theBlacks. One of the aspects that are expressed through this image isthe Blacks’ hair style. Rocky is depicted to have long hair and acap, which represents a common trend used by the Blacks. The skincolour is a representation of the Blacks the skin colour has beenused purposely to depict that the image is of a Black person. Thisimage is shown below
Oneof the similarities between the two images is the depiction of Blacksas entertainers. Both images have been used in magazines for thepurpose of entertainment Luna has been featured in the VogueMagazine while Rocky has been featured in the I-D Magazine. Theimages are also similar in that they represent the Blacks’ culture.David Bailey has used Luna in the magazine to express the Blacks’aesthetic feelings in terms of beauty as expressed by the Blacks. Onthe other hand, Daniel Jackson expresses the Blacks’ fashion asdepicted in Black men.
Despitethe similarities shown by these images from different photographers,the images also have differences. One of the differences that can beclearly noted among the images is the skin colour. Although theimages are a representation of the blacks, they have differingskin-tone. The image of Luna is indicated to have a light skin-tone,while that of Rocky is indicated to have a dark skin-tone. Thedifference in skin-tone between the two images may be arepresentation of what the images are meant to imply to the society.The use of Luna’s image, as a cover photo, having a light skin mayhave the meaning that the Blacks are also beautiful and their imagestoo can be featured as cover photos. This may be intended to pass themessage that there is no need for racism because both the Whites andthe Blacks are equally beautiful naturally. This view of seeingBlacks being equal to the Whites in different aspects can be appliedin society to end racism. However, this can only be practical if theWhites accept the position of the blacks and stop seeing them aspeople that can only act as slaves.
Onthe other hand, the use of Rocky’s image having a dark skin-tonemay be a representation of how confident the Blacks feel with theirculture. In this image, Rocky is depicted as being composed and happywith whom he is and his fashion. This satisfaction may bringdifferent sentiments in the society. This is because Blacks may havea certain fashion just because they are Blacks and ignore thefashions of other cultures. It is always good to feel confident withone’s culture, but it is also good to embrace other cultures inorder to avoid racism.3Therefore, the depiction of this image as having a dark skin colourand being confident with the fashion may be meant to imply that theBlacks feel confident about their culture and are not prepared toadopt other cultures. This may promote skin colour differences, wherea person may feel superior because of his/her skin colour.
Fromthe two images, it can be construed that the photography industrydepicts the Black people and their culture as significant ingredientsthat can aid in ending racism. Based on how the photography industrydepicts the Blacks’ culture, racism can be perpetuated ordiscontinued in society. In case the photography industry depicts theBlack people and their culture as worthless, then other culturescannot respect the Black people and their culture. The converse alsoholds. Depending on how the photography industry depicts the Blackpeople and their culture, the modern day Black youths can be affecteddifferently. For instance, in case the photography industry depictsthe Black people and their culture as important in building cohesionin the society, then vices such as racism can be eliminated among themodern day youths. 4Thismay have a promising future generation of racism-free society.However, in case the photography industry depicts the Black peopleand their culture as useless, then there is a likelihood of impactingthe modern Black youths negatively for instance, the demeaning ofthe black people and their culture may make the modern Black youthfeel inferior to other cultures. This may help in perpetuating racismamid generations that may emerge.
Arogundade,Ben. BlackBeauty.London: Pavilion, 2003.
Doy,Gen. BlackVisual Culture: Modernity and Postmodernity.London: Tauris, 2000.
Hornsby,Alton. AfricanAmericans in the Post-Emancipation South: The Outsiders` View.Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 2010.
Wright,Michelle M, and Antje Schuhmann. Blacknessand Sexualities.Berlin: LitNew Brunswick, 2007.
1 Arogundade, Ben. Black Beauty. London: Pavilion, 2003. pp 11.
2 Wright, Michelle M, and Antje Schuhmann. Blackness and Sexualities. Berlin: Lit New Brunswick, 2007. Pp 108.
3 Hornsby, Alton. African Americans in the Post-Emancipation South: The Outsiders` View. Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 2010. Pp 72.
4 Doy, Gen. Black Visual Culture: Modernity and Postmodernity. London: Tauris, 2000. Pp 85.