Citation

Slavery cannot be destroyed, but only change form

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Abstract:

B®anded by Hank Willis Thomas is a series of print advertisements used by Nike, American Express, Vodka, and even the Society for the Abolition of Slavery to name a few. Thomas inserts elements of slavery such as the branding, chaining and auctioning of Black men in order to morph the visual language of the regular advertising photographs. His technique leaves the interpreter to consider if slavery and stereotyping still exists, but in a different form. Unbranded consists of print advertisements from 1969 to 2006 where Thomas cuts out the brand name and any text included in the original advertisement. Relative to the B®anded exhibition, Unbranded appears less photographically altered, yet, the implications for the progression of Black men in the public eye over a thirty-seven year period is glaringly apparent: we have not significantly budged since the late sixties; and if anything have gotten more stereotyped and appropriated. My article will analyze certain issues with the commodification and advertising of the Black male body in select photographs from the B®anded (i.e. “Absolut Power,” “Afro-American Express,” “Branded Head,” and “Scarred Chest”) and Unbranded (i.e. “So glad we made it!,” and “Once upon in America there were no slaves”) exhibitions; using scholarly articles and journals, rap music, and poetry. The order that these exhibitions will be reviewed in is important because one must first be branded before one is unbranded. In these photographs, the Black male’s body and voice will be put on display; his voice will be simultaneously silenced and articulated.
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Association:
Name: 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies
URL:
http://www.ncbsonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p295469_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Peoples, Gabriel. "Slavery cannot be destroyed, but only change form" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown, Atlanta, GA, Mar 19, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p295469_index.html>

APA Citation:

Peoples, G. , 2009-03-19 "Slavery cannot be destroyed, but only change form" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown, Atlanta, GA <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p295469_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: B®anded by Hank Willis Thomas is a series of print advertisements used by Nike, American Express, Vodka, and even the Society for the Abolition of Slavery to name a few. Thomas inserts elements of slavery such as the branding, chaining and auctioning of Black men in order to morph the visual language of the regular advertising photographs. His technique leaves the interpreter to consider if slavery and stereotyping still exists, but in a different form. Unbranded consists of print advertisements from 1969 to 2006 where Thomas cuts out the brand name and any text included in the original advertisement. Relative to the B®anded exhibition, Unbranded appears less photographically altered, yet, the implications for the progression of Black men in the public eye over a thirty-seven year period is glaringly apparent: we have not significantly budged since the late sixties; and if anything have gotten more stereotyped and appropriated. My article will analyze certain issues with the commodification and advertising of the Black male body in select photographs from the B®anded (i.e. “Absolut Power,” “Afro-American Express,” “Branded Head,” and “Scarred Chest”) and Unbranded (i.e. “So glad we made it!,” and “Once upon in America there were no slaves”) exhibitions; using scholarly articles and journals, rap music, and poetry. The order that these exhibitions will be reviewed in is important because one must first be branded before one is unbranded. In these photographs, the Black male’s body and voice will be put on display; his voice will be simultaneously silenced and articulated.


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