In early January 1937, the Ohio River began to flood. By the end of the month, more than seventy percent of Louisville, Kentucky was under water. Thousands of people were displaced from their homes, businesses were destroyed, and the geography of the city permanently shifted east, outside of the flood plain. In this photograph, taken by Margaret Bourke-White for Time magazine, a line of displaced people--adults and children, all of them Black--wait in line for food and dry clothing in front of an enormous billboard. In a terrible irony, the billboard depicts an idealized American family driving through a bucolic Midwestern scene beneath the words, "World's Highest Standard of Living." Over time, Bourke-White's photo has been used to represent the wealth disparity and precarious socio-economic conditions of the Great Depression.
This music video for the song “Area Codes” by rapper Ludacris, featuring Nate Dogg, was released in 2001. The song is about the alleged numerous women dispersed across the world -- their locations indicated by their United States telephone area codes -- with whom Ludacris has either had sex with, or would be readily available for sex if he were to call. The chorus repeated throughout the song is, “I’ve got hoes, I’ve got hoes, in different area codes, area codes, area codes. I’ve got hoes.” The primary imagery of the video features Ludacris, a plane and several scantily-clad women with area codes emblazoned across their tight-fitted, cropped shirts or bikinis, dancing suggestively in high heels. The music video also features clips from Rush Hour 2, an action comedy movie starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, since the song was part of the movie’s soundtrack. During the Rush Hour 2 scenes that flash through the music video, Ludacris raps lyrics such as “I bang cock in Bangkok,” “I’m the thriller in Manilla,” “Schlong in Hong Kong.”
This video from rapper Ludacris was released in 2006, and the song peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts. Throughout the video, Ludacris and Pharrell are surrounded by dancing women in mini-dresses; the men flash $100 bills as they call on the women to “shake their moneymaker”.
This MAD TV sketch is a parody of Chris Rock’sNo Sex in the Champagne Room,a music video in which Rock doles out advice to his viewers in a comedic format. In this MAD TV version, “Chris Rock” (Phil LaMarr) takes the opportunity to give out advice about the role of African Americans in popular television. He tells viewers that “no matter what the networks tell you, there are no blacks on the TV screen – NONE!”
Illustrator Mary Engelbreit created this poster in response to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, who was shot and killed by White police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. The event triggered local and national protests, bringing public attention to issues of systemic racial profiling and assumed criminalization by law enforcement, poverty and lack of opportunities for social mobility, and increased militarization of U.S. police forces. The artwork states, “No one should have to teach their children this in the USA,” and shows a Black woman crying as she holds a young child who has hands raised, with “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot” displayed on the newspaper in front of them. All proceeds from the sale of this print were donated to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund.