Historical Analysis and Interpretation
This collection provides an opportunity to examine racial segregation in the United States during the early-twentieth century. Separate recreational opportunities for African Americans are represented in posters advertising the "Learn to Swim Campaign," performance groups such as the Colored Concert Band, and Negro Theatre Productions including "The Case of Philip Lawrence" and "Noah".
African Americans were also represented in posters for "Cavalcade of the American Negro," a history of black contributions to the United States from 1865 to 1940, and in a library poster that encourages readers to explore the topics of "The Negro in National Defense," "Africa and the War," [and] "Negro History and Culture."
- How does the "Learn to Swim Campaign" poster reflect the racial segregation of the community? Why might the illustrator have depicted this segregation?
- What did the posters promoting books on African Americans imply about their role in society?
- What do you think that these posters imply about the role of African Americans in the mobilization effort for World War II?