Writing about Art (Blog Post 3)

On April 15th, I recently visited the Fort Worth Art Museum and was interested to see how modern art could reflect major events in history. One art work that caught my eye was a piece by Lorna Simpson called “Moveableness” where it shows a colored woman dressed in military attire going down a staircase while another women of color is going up those same stairs dressed in fancy spring clothing. The reason why I liked this artwork so much is how different lifestyles can be based on the choices we make in our lives, even if two people share similar traits. A woman in the military is pretty uncommon and they should be respected due to how difficult it is to work where men are the prime source of labor, especially if you are a double minor such as a colored woman. But within the military, all ranks are respected and treat one another as their brothers and sisters because on the field, you trust that they will protect you and they trust you as well for the same reason. For the woman in the Spring attire going up the stairs, I get the idea of this woman making much different choices in her life. She did not feel as if she had the responsibility to defend her country but live the life she chooses because the woman in military attire is defending that right to make those choices. Black women are some the strongest  and most hard working individuals that I have read about in history. Some of the things I have learned is they were treated the same when the United States practiced slavery in the 1800s, which meant that they worked the same jobs if not more than the slave men. In Angela Y. Davis’ passage “The Legacy of Slavery” she wrote a lot of what slave women went through during their time of chains. The slave women acted as breeders when slaves were no longer allowed to be taken from other countries because the treat of the practice was on the decline. Women were not entitled to their child because their lack of rights at the time but were able to take care of them once they were old enough to traded off into the slave trade. Women would be working with the child on their backs wrapped in blankets and cloth similar to a pouch, but most slave owners did not allow this and force women to leave their child at the end of the row of crops, lying on the dirt. To go through labor and work for at least 12 hours a day, six days a week is amazing, it is hard to believe men could do something similar because men cannot do somethings women can do. To go from not being able to claim a child in the 1800s to today, where women of color can make very different choices, such as raising a family and fighting in wars is a huge jump in the right direction for opportunity. I am fond of Lorna Simpson’s “Moveableness” work because it surely represents how far women of color have made it since slavery, where they can make choices and live their lives as they choose.


One comment

  1. It is amazing how far this country has come with respect of not only women, but African American women as well. The picture you described seemed to illustrate women’s right to chose their career. Even after slaver in the 1800s women still did not have the right to join the military or even maintain a job until the 1940s due to the world wars. Women went from slaves of all types, to following the man of the houses orders, to having the opportunity to live any life they want. The freedom women have now is something this country had been fighting for for decades. It is awesome to see this change.


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