In 1970 Psychology Today published a board game where players were divided into white and black, and had to make economic progress while competing with each other. Based on Monopoly, the idea was to demonstrate how the odds were stacked against black people in society by having different rules for each race in the game.
Whites started out with $1 million, blacks with $10,000 and each race had different opportunity decks. While whites could buy property in any part of the board, blacks were limited to certain areas until they had accumulated at least $100,000 and were outright banned from property in the ‘suburban zone’.
Needless to say, it turned out to be one of the most controversial board games of all time and even merited an article in Time magazine:
The game, produced by Psychology Today Games (an off shoot of the magazine) now on sale ($5.95) at major department stores, was developed at the University of California at Davis by Psychology Department Chairman Robert Sommer. It was conceived as a painless way for middle-class whites to experience—and understand—the frustrations of blacks. In Sommer’s version, however, the black player could not win; as a simulation of frustration, the game was too successful. Then David Popoff, a Psychology Today editor, redesigned the game, taking suggestions from militant black members of “US” in San Diego. The new rules give black players an opportunity to use—and even to beat—the System.
Although turning Monopoly into an attempt to draw people’s attention to social issues seems a little bit of a long shot, it’s worth noting that the original version of Monopoly itself, called ‘The Landlord’s Game‘, was designed to demonstrate how the current economic system led to inequality and bankruptcy.
Psychology Today’s board game division seems to have been short-lived but other titles included The Cities Game – that involved ‘urban tension, corruption and the undercurrents of city politics’; and Woman and Man where ‘Each woman must accumulate enough Status Quo points (100) to prove her equality to men. Each man must collect enough Status Quo points (100) to prove once and for all a woman’s place is beneath his’.
Fun for all the family.
Link to 1970 Time article on the ‘Blacks and Whites’ board game.
Link to game details and photos on BoardGameGeek.
Thousands of University of Dayton students riot last night in Dayton, Ohio after UD’s latest basketball win. Reportedly, the uncontrollable students hit a newswoman, injured several enforcement officials, and damaged city property. 28 people were arrested. I suspect that this was predominately made up of people who classify themselves as “white”. As such, enforcement officials were able to retain the suspects without fatally shooting anyone. Well done.
University of Dayton, a private Catholic institution, is notorious for the illegal drinking and unruly behavior of its mostly white-classified student body. When will the city of Dayton and University of Dayton get these students under control permanently? Last year, on March 17th, enforcement officials from 10 jurisdictions were called out to contain hundreds of intoxicated and violent students. In mid-March of this year, enforcement officials increased patrol of UD significantly, to dissuade the students from engaging in their violent and alcohol-fueled behavior. They were successful. Unfortunately, yesterday evening, they did not take the same adequate precautions to prevent the latest UD “violent disturbance”.
The students, even go so far as to nickname their residential area as the “ghetto” despite being surrounded by resources and privilege. The University of Dayton spent approximately $7 million renovating this so-called ghetto in 1989 in hopes that it would improve student behavior. This White Supremacist nickname for the area demonstrates how people who classify themselves as “white” and who practice Racism, often characterize their own willful misbehavior as somehow associated with black people (the innately criminal, according to the Racists (White Supremacists)). Neely Fuller Jr., author of the UICCSC, has long pointed out that the “ghetto” is not a place. It’s a person. A black person. A Victim of Racism, who is associated with inferior status and behavior.
UD is not a ghetto. Its students are not behaving “ghetto”. They are behaving as criminals. UD campus is apparently filled with violent and misbehaving students who most likely classify themselves as “white”. You can be sure that there will be no reports associating their repeated criminal behavior as genetic. This is correct because there is no definitive proof of a criminal gene. However, there is a system of Racism (White Supremacy) in place that largely shields people who classify themselves as “white” from their own misconduct and innumerable crimes.
Replacing a system of Racism (White Supremacy) with Justice means that no one is mistreated for any reason, and the people who need the most help get the constructive help they need.
At the Dark End of the Street: Sexual Violence and the Civil Rights Movement
In 1944, in Abbeville, Alabama, a black woman named Recy Taylor walked home from a church revival. A car full of white men kidnapped her off the street, drove her to the woods and gang raped her at gunpoint. When they finished, they dropped her off in the middle of town and told her they would kill her if she told anyone what happened. But that night, she told her husband, father and the local sheriff about the assault. A few days later the Montgomery NAACP called to say they were sending their best investigator.
It was Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks carried Taylor’s story back to Montgomery where she and the city’s most militant activists organized the Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor, and launched what the Chicago Defender called the strongest campaign for equal justice in a decade. Eleven years later this group of homegrown activists would become better known as the Montgomery Improvement Association, vaunting it’s president, Martin Luther King Jr. to international prominence and launching a movement that would help change the world. But when the coalition first took root, King was still in High School.
The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, often heralded as the opening scene of the civil rights movement, was in many ways, one of the last acts of a decades-long struggle to protect black women, like Taylor, from sexualized violence and rape. Indeed, major civil rights campaigns in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina had roots in organized resistance to sexual violence.
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance-A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
Danielle L. McGuire
This book is gr8
This book is fantastic and I wish more people knew about it.
The one problem I had with it, that I wish I’d know about going in, is that in transcribing interviews, the (white) author only ever spells phonetically the words of black interviewees. It’s been a couple years since I read this book, but if I remember correctly, she has a range of interview subjects. Many of them are southern, and if she was going to convey a regional accent through spelling, I would have been less jarred if she’d transcribed all her subjects in the same manner. Doing that to only the black women she interviewed felt othering.
Otherwise, it’s a really necessary really important book. I’m really glad I read it.
The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world definitions.
christhepusher: I saw this on my news feed on FB from back home in Oklahoma and was like WTF!? If you don’t know what “G8RBAIT” is..read below and follow the link for a insightful blog about it. ..see how DISGUSTING this is…
Alligator bait, also known as gator bait, is the practice of using little black children as bait to catch alligators. Some say it was done by white men during slave times in Florida and Louisiana and other parts of the American South.
Here is the most complete account of how it was done, coming from the grandson of someone who says he used to do it:
… the slaves who had babies they would steal the babies during the course of the day, some times when their mothers weren’t watching . … some would be infants, some would be a year old, he said some would be toddlers, he said they would grab these children and take them down to the swamp, and leave them in pens like little chicken coops.
They would go down there at night, take these babies and …. tie them up, put a rope around their neck and around their torso, around here, and tie it tight.
… they’d be screaming. … what they were doing would help them to chum the water. He said when they would throw the babies in tied to this rope, he said in a matter of minutes, he said, the alligator were on them. He said the alligator would clamp his jaws on that child, as a matter of fact once he clamped on them he was really swallowed, he said you couldn’t see anything but the rope!
Q:oh noooo, a painting or presentation about a historical figure is cropped to focus on the historical figure...
I get why people want to see images that focus on who the text is about, but seriously (and this is going to sound terrible because of my ignorance beforehand), I had no idea that Japanese people set foot in Rome during medieval times before I saw this post. That is how much context was lost by the cropping of that image. And for fuck’s sake, it’s not like educators can’t show a 2nd damn slide with the whole image.
And I’m not even the one who bolded the above, for a change. :) Also, exactly.
As others have mentioned (including myself in the op), these are all “historical figures”. Which figures are chosen to represent different things in different lecture materials, handouts, and PowerPoints are important, because the strongly influence our ideas of what a “default” person of a particular area, time period, or event looked like.
Say you’re in a Western Civ class, and your prof gives a quick rundown on Rubens. What do you think you’ll see at the header of the slide as a "typical" Rubens? (both are cropped)
What about Rubens’ studies? Which one is “Study: Head of a Woman”? (full images)
All four are in fact, pretty typical of Rubens’ work.
I just wonder what kind of discussion would happen in the classroom depending on which image was used.
All of this.
Also, just thought I’d add that Japanese envoys made it all the way to Spain, and some of the members stayed behind, starting their own families there. Wikipedia says that there’s still around 700 people with the surname Japón, which identifies them as descendents of the Japanese envoys that stayed behind.
Though this was in the Late Renaissance, I think it’s still worth mentioning, especially since Japan is associated so strongly with being insular. There was a time when Japan was much more open to worldwide relationships, and Japan reached far and wide in seeking out those relationships.
“And for fuck’s sake, it’s not like educators can’t show a 2nd damn slide with the whole image.”
-In all seriousness, if you’re doing it correctly, no you really can’t. If I’m doing a presentation, I need
to focus on the aspects that are strictly important to the actual point I want you to know. If I want you to know that “Oh, so, he kinda looked like this now moving on” then I don’t have any reason to actually show you the entire image.
Or say I wanted to talk about Pope Alexander II. If I crop a painting to just his head, yes you miss out on some context, but that’s not even remotely the point I was making. The point I was making was that he’s a huge asshole who shat on the name of the Church (personal opinion) and here’s a bulletpoint list of why.
Now, IT IS TRUE that if you’re in Western Civ and the rundown is done with the cropping, then it can be misleading, but this is only in the context of somehow trying to use brief blurbs of an art in order to illustrate an extremely important artist’s work and demonstrate to a class of mostly-uninterested high schoolers that such and such was probably mostly important.
THAT is an example TEACHING BADLY. You have done your job POORLY as an instructor if you think that a blurb about an artist actually teaches people anything whatsoever.
The fundamental error is NOT in the fact that skewing of modern attitudes towards the past can occur, but rather that someone somewhere believes that somehow an entire artist’s or historical figure’s body of accomplishments may be summarized in a cropped painting that probably is biased all to hell anyway.
So in summary, the problem being focused on is an extremely serious effect of the even more serious problem. This is: instructors are teaching poorly and not thinking about what they’re making their students believe and understand when they give their presentations.
Edit: So, midievalpoc is an Art History Blog. That changes things somewhat, and makes my post rather out of context. When we examine the problem from the point of view of Art History, then I’ll also add this:
Cropping images, at all, will fundamentally misrepresent a work at all possible non-superficial levels.
That is all.
There’s a bit of confusion here because what you’re saying isn’t exceptionally clear, but it seems to me that you’re saying that the use of cropped images is justified in the case of teaching “uninterested high schoolers” or even a college class about, say Elizabeth Maitland Murray, who was quite the woman in her own right
And in fact, probably makes it into LOT OF WOMEN’S HISTORY courses, since she definitely defied patriarchal constructs of White femininity, but you’re more likely to see the image above, because of course we’re focusing on HER, because we have decided that SHE is “important”….but she also very much ascribed to the fashion of having yuor portrait done with a submissive-looking Black servant or enslaved Black person crouching nearby to anticipate your every whim:
The fundamental problem IS, in fact, that we are presenting the historical figures that have been decided are “important” in certain light, in a more flattering light
In the same kind of light that the Tea Party wants us to portray the “Founding Fathers” in, which is to say, the omission of the fact that they owned slaves and in many cases, supported the institution of chattel slavery because that was the source of their wealth and influence.
This is how people go through high school, college, and even grad school and never, ever have to question their ASSUMPTION THAT EVERYONE IN HISTORY WHO WAS “IMPORTANT” WAS WHITE. To the point where they think that every person of color throughout the entirety of history were slaves.
OMG YOU’RE RIGHT
We totally can learn much more about History and Art History from this:
Than we can from this:
I mean, what about this guy???? He’s totally from history!!!
But actually this work is about revolutionizing military painting because this is The Surrender of Breda by Diego Velasquez
Or, let’s talk about Luis Sotelo the Franciscan Monk! Did you know he traveled literally around the world??? He’s so great! So learned! Just look at him from this painting held in the Vatican!!!!!!
But hey let’s NOT talk about the only reason he ever went anywhere, which was because he was accompanied by Hasekura Tsunenaga and his retinue, who were secret Japanese ambassadors to the Pope in Rome, which is where and why they were painted at all:
Are we getting any clearer yet?
do people realize if they included poc in frozen, they would most likely have to be slaves
it’s the same issue with brave, it’s not historically accurate sorry
see i never learned any of this but yknow i don’t think anyone does at this point but yeah you get my point i was always taught poc were slaves at any given time before the 1850s yknow
THAT IS A REAL QUOTE FROM A REAL YOUNG PERSON WHO WAS TAUGHT THIS.
Regardless of intent, what comes out at the other end of the education-factory is a massive amount of young people of color with low self esteem and no sense of pride in their history, and a whole gaggle of young white people who feel entitled to tell people of color they shouldn’t expect to see themselves in media, because it’s “not historically accurate”.
In your post, you use the word “important” quite a lot. What I’m saying is that our ideas of WHAT and WHO are and are not “important” have been shaped by our experiences, our education, and what we know about our history.
For example, the keywords for Venus Labor at the Bridgeman Art Library are as follows:
So apparently, unless you’re teaching a class specifically on those subjects, this isn’t an “important” painting to see?
And even then, is this going to be your “go-to” image?
And so, these paintings gather dust, because they’re not “important” and the only place they might even be used are in theme-specific classes, or relegated to various grad school level esoteric specialization type classes that the majority of people in America will never, ever take.
This is exactly HOW these works of art end up unseen, uncared for and uncared about, unanalyzed and generally forgotten.
They do not fit into the dichotomy that has been created of “History” and “Other History”. There is honestly an enormous gap there into which many of the artworks and articles I post here fall.
The problem here is massive; it can’t be borne entirely by any individual educator; it is a systematic problem. But for each educator who find a way to be more inclusive, to change their language choices, to try and give a complete picture and find ways of engaging young minds with something they haven’t seen and contradicts what they have come to expect, a change occurs in the system.
My hope is that with the wealth of research and materials I’ve gathered here, and the degree to which I have tried to make them as accessible as possible, we can create a more complete and accurate way to educate people, with or without the system and the institution.