The Roaring 20’s/Rebirth of the KKK
The Great Gatsby is a classic book taught in almost all high schools, and praised for its critical depiction of the excesses of the Roaring 20’s and class stratification of U.S. society at the time. The novel, however, depicts only one portion of history, leaving out the surging racial anxiety of the time, which was so elevated that this was the same period that saw the rebirth of the Klu Klux Klan. This poster, borrowing the Art-Deco design of the era, as well as the iconic Great Gatsby book cover, is meant to address the whitewashing of American history in our canonical texts, and the blind eye white novelists at the time turned to the deep unrest and cruelty occurring on American streets. It’s a reminder that racism may appear to be in the “eye of the beholder,” as some claim today when they believe that people are purposefully “seeing race everywhere.” In fact our ability to grapple with the racism inherent in our society is really in the “I,” the person’s own bounded awareness and life circumstances that allow them to create a narrative where race does not exist.