"Droodle Me This ... ": photographic Declarations and also the American Dream Maria Teresa Agozzino

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With-drawing the American Nightmare

According to the statements of Independence: "All males are developed equal, that they space endowed by their Creator with particular unalienable Rights, that amongst these room Life, Liberty, and also the search of Happiness" (Cullen 38). In a multicultural society, these lofty yet intangible foundational ideals space as negotiable as they space exclusive. Despite women, numerous immigrant groups, and also Native Americans to be omitted in the "Creator"s plans, certainly a grave collective social scar was scored through the treatment of enslaved peoples required to go into the unified States. I do not must recount the historic record; you can see it because that yourself.

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The complying with cycle assumes expertise of united States background and accentuates the longevity of cultural memory in black and also white. Drawn in as small as 3 seconds, a circle, two directly lines, and also an optional 4 dots, instantly signify almost three hundreds years of American history. Execution of the given instance portray almost everywhere from two to 6 hoods (see numbers 8, 9, and 10).

You are watching: Looking down a well

Figure 8: "Two KKK Members Looking down a Well," <22> or "Two Members that KKK Looking under the sewer Hole After throwing a Nigger right into It." <23>

In these versions, together in figure 7, the firm resides through Klan members. They room the subjects, the actors, in the droodle, whether or no a victim is assignment out. <24> The droodle style plays top top a tardy of depth; the responder is forced to literally look at down into the well (or hole) mirroring the Klan"s metaphorical (and physical) looking under on that is victim.

The majority of captions, however, revolve roughly the a black color man"s view from the bottom the a well:

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"The last point a nigger sees as soon as the Ku Klux Klan throws him under a well," <25> or " <...> down a guy hole;" <26> "The last point a nigger sees after the Klan throws him right into a well;" <27> "A nigger looking increase from the fine he"s just been thrown right into by four Ku Klux Klan members;" <28> "A Black guy looking up the well at the 3 KKK members that threw the in;" <29> "The last point a nigger sees before he"s dead;" <30> or "<...> prior to he gets killed;" <31> and also "What a black guy in the southern sees when he wakes up in the morning at the bottom the a well." <32>

Figure 9: "KKK Members Looking under a Well"

The black man becomes the subject of the droodle, and also reveals the his watch of the civilization is native the bottom up. He is literally cast down through "upstanding" citizens. The advancement of the firm as depicted in droodles mirrors the breakthrough of afri Americans in society. Though informants agree the they would not show any type of of these texts to african American friends, the transition to more politically correct titles reflects an increase in both sensitivity and ignorance: "It"s the last point a nigger sees together he"s falling under a well," <33> and "It"s the last thing an ethnic decimal sees as soon as being thrown down a well by the Ku Klux Klan." <34>

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The performance and also production of this droodles is framed through time and place; boundaries are context driven and also acceptability related to the viewed sensitivity that the audience (Goffman 50). Indeed, neutral and also contemporaneous guesses include, "Sharks looking under a hole," <35> "A half-eaten anchovy pizza," "Rats playing poker," <36> and also "The human being viewed native the within of a beer can." <37>

Figure 10: "KKK Members Looking down a Well"

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Maria Teresa Agozzino has actually a Ph.D. In Folklore and Celtic researches from the university of California, Berkeley, whereby she offered as Head reader for Alan Dundes from 1999-2004 and as Head Archivist indigenous 2000 to 2004. She has actually taught folklore and also American studies courses at UC Berkeley and also California State University, east Bay. She publications incorporate "Welsh Calennig and Greek Kalanda: Begging in the new Year," Cosmo: The newspaper for the traditional Cosmology culture 19 (2005): 21-45, "Ysbryd y Werin: review of Celtic Folklore Scholarship," The Folklore chronicler 22 (2005): 13-33, and "First Come, first Served: investigating Sir john Rhys" "Essential Connexion" between Celtic brand-new Year Customs." Studi Celtici: An global Journal that History, Linguistics, and cultural Anthropology 2 (2003).

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This paper evolved native a guest lecture presented to an introductory American researches course in ~ UC Berkeley in fall 2005. She is lot obliged come Christine Palmer for the opportunity.