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To the Disinherited Belongs the Future

36.5 x 30 inches mixed charcoal on paper

In “To The Disinherited Belongs The Future,” Washington depicts a sharecropper father and his son, embarking on a day’s work on the land. The son, his father’s pupil, is positioned in a mirror image of his father – indicating the son’s eventual role as the burden bearer for the family’s next generation.  However, the father’s intense gaze suggests a different desire -- for the son to eventually enjoy a life not burdened by systematic and institutionalized disenfranchisement. This goal was eventually accomplished through the subsequent gains of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. In this sense, to these “disinherited” sharecroppers (and others like them), the future was theirs.


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