Different Perceptions


In a nation as focused on race as the United States was in the early 1900s, any gesture suggesting racial cooperation was guaranteed to draw attention. Roosevelt’s invitation to Booker T. Washington certainly did. Not only did Roosevelt secure the long-term loyalty of the country’s most influential black leader, he also provided an easy subject for political cartoonists.
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Examine these two cartoons closely. One clearly condemns Roosevelt’s actions; the other endorses them. Beyond the obvious, what are the more subtle messages and connections the artists want to communicate? What images do the artists use? Be sure to notice the figures on the statue and to analyze Roosevelt's actions in each image. What are the figures doing? What are they holding? Why did the artists choose to use these specific words?
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After analyzing these two images, follow this link to learn more about how Roosevelt turned his back on the African American community.