Wednesday, March 25, 2015
This image stands out to me because of the images of slaves and native peoples portrayed on the murals. I noticed at first glance at these paintings on the sides of the dome are greatly romanticized and made positive in a morbid, sickly way. The painting including African-American slaves was accompanied by a caption of positive words such as “efficiency” and “progress”. Also, the images of the two male slaves were smiling as well as fully clothed. Both of these details are unrealistic and would not have occurred in the real time in which it took place. Slaves were denied decent clothes to work in and they were not smiling while their master was controlling their lives. Next, the image of the Native American tribe of Tuscaloosa was inaccurate. The meeting of white men with this tribe was known to have been violent and brutal. The mural shows a meeting without the hostility white men showed to the native people. Also, the women in the mural were not clothed decently, while the men are fully dressed. This portrays them as sexual objects. These discrepancies between the paintings on the dome of the Alabama State Capitol building and historical reality are detrimental to the telling of history now unless they are confronted and properly explained. This is especially prevalent since 800 fourth graders go through there every day.