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The Continual Struggle

23.5 x 32 inches mixed charcoal on paper

The heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, brave men and women – many of whom had little to no resources – changed the consciousness of society at large. The Civil Rights Movement, by making overt racism unacceptable in modern society, catalyzed a social transformation. Civil rights legislation associated with the Civil Rights Movement has led to nondiscrimination laws and regulations precluding other types of discrimination such as age discrimination, gender discrimination, disability discrimination and religious discrimination, among others. The Civil Rights Movement has not only changed the face of African American oppression, but has generated awareness around oppression of all types, worldwide.

In “The Continual Struggle,” Washington portrays a long line of protesters marching in support of civil rights. The line of protesters seems infinitely long, stretching backward to a distant vanishing point. This image is symbolic in multiple respects. The title “The Continual Struggle” is a reference to the visual composition of the image. By screaming out with their hearts, and speaking words with their feet, ordinary, oppressed black people found a way to tell their stories and struggles so that all of the world could understand. Their contributions and sacrifices for the sake of a more perfect union shall never be forgotten. The long line of protesters also symbolizes the seemingly never-ending road to freedom faced by these courageous individuals. Despite the fact that progress has been made, this journey continues in our current society.


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