Extra Credit

Howard Finster was a very talented artist who used personal experiences and history in order to create his idea of art. His pieces spoke to me because of how different they are from a lot of art that I have seen. All of his pieces are different from one another. He took on different mediums of art and made them work together.

Howard Finster: George Washington in Another World, High Museum

This painting consists of different layers and context. The background is blue, like the sky, with women in dresses floating, probably angels. There are star-like symbols and colorful circles throughout. There are also tall, white buildings which come to the front of the image too. These buildings are seen in front of George Washington as well. He has black hair, rosy cheeks, a wide nose, and blue eyes. He is wearing a brown cardigan and off white shirt. There is grass with interesting trees throughout the painting. It gives off a holiday vibe. There are people who appear to be praying, everyone is doing the same motion. There is also small text which makes it seem like it was not really meant to be read but it also seems important. It shows that Finster refers to himself as ” From God. Man of vision.” I also see text like”heaven is worth it all” and “God bless you all.” The painting makes me think of chaos and discontent. What I take from this is that although the world is in a state of chaos, heaven will be worth it all.

After being at the museum, i found out that the actual meaning behind it was the fact that Finster loves American presidents and hoped to meet Washington one day in heaven. It is so interesting to see the different interpretations than what u would have assumed.

Howard Finster: Gospel Bike, High Museum

This was so cool to me because Finster made anything his canvas. He turned a bike, a simple bike, into a piece of art. This is neat because it truly shows a part of him because he was a bicycle repairman. He called this the Gospel bike because he found it well suited to spread the gospel. The bike is littered with his signature angels, bible verses, and Jesus on the seat. He painted a snake on the wheel, probably to symbolize the serpent in the bible.

I may not like some of the people that he admired due to their racism and bigotry, I can still appreciate most of his art. Art brings unity and provokes thought and that will always be so important. It is timeless!

Quotes and Questions 3



“There are not many cities or even countries that would allow this type of intervention. They don’t accept this kind of alteration, I am not sure why though. When you think about it it’s kind of silly to think this would cause any accident just because the pedestrian crossing is altered. Let’s take Iceland for instance, they started making 3D-painted zebra crossing that provides an optical illusion of white blocks floating in the road in a bid to slow drivers. I consider that if you see my works, there is little chance that a car would accelerate and run over someone. Quite the opposite, if there is something that you do not understand you would usually slow down.”

art by OakOak

It is fascinating to see the controversy that is art. It can be a serious deal in many places around the world. Whether it comes as protestor just entertainment, there is usually some meaning behind it. It is cool to see how this artist does his road work. His work caused controversy in that it might cause an accident is actually kind of absurd and if anything, it would indeed make someone slow down and look. I mean, i kind of get it, but it’s still really complex. I would be more understanding if it was 3d work on the road and even then, it would have to be REALLY good.

“What I enjoy about my work is that there will be 1 person out of 20 people who will walk pass by one of my pieces and notice it. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt!”

It is very true, especially in busy cities. People tend to just walk by or are in a hurry. It isn’t everyone that will stop and smell the roses. The ones that do, it might be important to them. That is what makes art so important and unique from other forms of expression.. The people that can appreciate the art will. A piece of art can make you smile or laugh even if it’s just for a second, and that could completely change the rest of your day.


How street art and graffiti can be used to unite a community and help people understand the positive impact that in can bring?

It seems that even today, although it has improved greatly, people still see street art as a negative thing and just vandalism.

How is graffiti perceived amongst different cultures and countries and why?

I’ve always wondered if it is perceived in a negative way based on culture or if it is that way because it is not the norm and people do not fully understand it and how different places interpret it.

Makerspace II: Objects of Protest

When it comes to protests against racial discrimination, people often misunderstand the purpose. IN protest and in general, people often ask why black people are so mad? There has been a stereotype for centuries that associates blacks with anger. Lauryn Hill created a song called ‘Black Rage’ where she basically explains the rage created within the black American. It sheds a light of the struggle of the black man rooted in slavery and oppression.

I used a black background because I feel as though it promotes power. The white letters promote a bold contrast. Since it is about black rage, you would think that the words would be black, but it makes more sense that the words are white because it shows that many of the reasons for this rage are created because of white people and the concept of supremacy. The contrast shows the difference between black and white which is the subject of the issue.

top left:  police brutality- this refers to the high levels of police officers killing unarmed black people and the lack of justice for it. Lauryn Hill was inspired by the shooting of Michael Brown and the Ferguson Riots. The song in itself is a protest.

top right: poisoned water- this refers to Flint, Michigan and the water crisis. In the song, Lauryn Hill says “poisoning your water while they say it’s raining” This basically refers to the fact that Flint has had dirty water for years and the people there were deceived into thinking that it was healthy enough to drink, cook, and bathe with. Ib reality, people are getting sick and do not have enough money to continue to buy bottles water for everything. It is a predominantly black community and people feel as though if this was happening in a white community, the issue would have been fixed years ago.

bottom left: rapings and beatings- this refers to the the times of slavery and african americans being raped and beaten senseless. There was a lot

bottom right: 2/3 a person-  This comes from black people being considered 2/3 a person when trying to voting. Their vote did not count as a full person.

My message is explicit in that it tells exactly why we, African Americans, are angry. Not only are we angry, but have every right to be. It gives valid reasons in a world that often invalidates our feelings. The black man is expected to grow up earlier, judged based solely on appearance, and simply misunderstood.

When creating this, I wanted the words “black rage” to speak for themselves but I later decided to add more words. These words will make you think more about black rage. “Black rage” is all capitalized because it is a bold statement. I want it to be looked at. I want people to stop and ask “wait, what is black rage?” That will then lead them to reading the smaller words. The main words are large and centered since they need to be striking and most important.

I believe this is visually rhetorical because it does its job in raising a question. It makes you think but it also can be interpreted in different ways. It provides a subject and creates curiosity around that subject.

Helpful Sources:

Corbett, Sarah & Housley, Sarah. “The Craftivist   Collective Guide to Craftivism.” Utopian Studies, vol. 22 no. 2, 2011, pp. 344-351. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/451899.

Bushwick, Sophie. “How to Make the Best Protest Sign.” Popular Science, 10 Apr. 2017, www.popsci.com/how-to-make-best-protest-sign.

In Class Quotes and Questions 10.22.2018

“Although invitational rhetoric offers an alternative approach to traditional rhetoric, it has been criticized at both the theoretical level and the practical level. “
Invitational rhetoric offers space for conversation and forces you to see it. People are receptive to art and likely drawn to it. It is hard to not notice a large mural on a wall, for example. It creates a space for those who see it to think about it. We are used to argumentative rhetoric where everything is laid out right in front of us. Invitational rhetoric is a unique, untraditional way to protest or get attention on an important topic.
Why is invitational rhetoric criticized as impractical?
I chose this quote because I was still not completely well versed in the meaning of invitational rhetoric. After learning more, it is kind of confusing as to why it would not be practical. It is untraditional because visual art has always been seen as “different” but people have been using this form of rhetoric for many years without there being a name for it. It shouldn’t be considered that controversial but I guess the ideas and artwork presented in invitational rhetoric are what makes it seem that way.

Assemblage Activity: Art Supplies

art supplies

How are these sorted? Is there one dominant sorting method or are there layers of sorting (first by color, then by size, then purpose, etc.)?

The items are sorted by color, and this is the dominant method of sorting

  1. color, size, purpose
  2. The items are color coordinated. Every item is by its rightful color even if it isn’t the same type of item
  3. She sorted the objects based upon color. Pens, highlighters, and markers.

Does the sorting appear intentional or intuitive? Don’t just answer “yes” or “no”, but explain your answer.

  1. The sorting seems intentional because everything is by the appropriate color. No matter the item it is by the right color.
  2. The sorting is definitely intentional because of the choice to do it by color
  3. The sorting is intentional because it is organized, even though everything is school supplies.

What attribute of the assemblage is most privileged? What seems least important in this arrangement?

  1. The most privileged attribute of the arrangement is COLOR! The purpose of the items re similar so that doesn’t seem as important.
  2. The writing objects seem to be the most privileged and the least important is the eraser and tape

What themes or stories emerge based on the way these items are sorted? What can you tell about the importance or, owner of, use of the place from which this comes?

  1. From this assemblage you can gather that the person is most likely an artist because most of the items are art supplies.

I see these as assortment by color. I originally did these based on item, naturally. It made more sense to group them by the item because it created more structure.  I realized in doing it this way that structure is not the prime factor in organizing things and that there can still be some level of structure without doing something traditionally. Doing it this way made it interesting to look at because of the different items creating unity by having the same colors. It is pleasing to the eye to see things this way. It brings a lot of purpose to organization. I never noticed how important that would be.

Essex Hemphill – Names Project


This panel is about an openly gay poet and activist named Essex Hemphill. He was born in1957 and passed away in 1995. This means he was just 38 years old. This puts into perspective how so many young people fought for their lives and people just like them. So many of the people on these quilts had true passion for others and used their voices anyway they could, kind of like these quilts are. I chose this panel because this quilt contained many activists, poets and artists like Gil Scott Heron, Fela Kuti, and Thembi Ngubane.

There was a lot of color contrast throughout the quilt which, like most is what attracted me to it. This particular panel is not as colorful as some of the others, but the lack of color is quite fitting. It makes sense that it is not too colorful because it is a more serious panel. The background is blue and all of the words are in red. These colors were probably used to represent the colors of America in relation to his activism. Then, there are some pieces that he has written and a black and white image of him. I feel like most ofthe panels reflect each of the people who lost their lives to AIDS and whoever created this, probably had his work in mind when making it. 


Hemphill used his platform to speak about his illness and I believe that this was a perfect quote to embody his legacy. Although HIV/AIDS was not very accepted by society, it was especially harder to deal with for the black man. Hemphill is saying that he wants to create an organization to save a black persons life since society won’t. He went on to say that if there are organizations and saving for animals like whales and dogs, and Richard Nixon, then the lives of gay black men can be saved and are priceless to.

It kind of remind me of today’s #BlackLivesMatter movement. That organization was not created to say that other lives don’t matter, but that black lives matter too and are worth more than the injustices brought from racial violence. With BLM, it is a cry that African Americans have to save each other if the world won’t. This is like how Hemphill continues to say, “we should be able to save each other.” The gay community is already a misunderstood and not accepted group of people. Being a minority within the gay community was much more difficult and still is today. The odds are stacked against them. It is so courageous that he could come forward and make efforts to bring awareness to this issue and make strides for equality.



Archives and Rhetoric

Black panther cap: This artifact came from a protest regarding racist violence. It is an image of a black beret with a safety pin on the front of it. This cap is an important symbol in the Black Panther Party. When we think of this movement, we think of African Americans dressed in all black, probably turtle necks, afros, and a black power fist. It is a visually rhetorical piece because although most people would see it as ‘just a hat,’ or part of fashion or warmth, it is still easy to recognize it as a symbol for the Black Panther Party. This is an important artifact that can identify an entire movement. It is an historical piece that brings up topics like race, Malcom X, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. It is a timeless artifact. Although the cap symbolizes the controversy of race in the 1960s, it still deals with ongoing problems in today’s America. We are dealing with police brutality against African Americans, high incarceration rates for minorities, KKK violence, and a countless amount of other issues. The cap was part of a “uniform”, so to speak. It gave this movement a militant feel. It gave people who were a part of the movement a sense of belonging. It allowed for a new culture within a society. Black Panthers were not only black people. It was any non-white person who supported social and political justice for African Americans. This hat can shed light on how important symbols of past times are today. Someone today wore or used the beret to protest against racism and the power it holds speaks volumes of agelessness and awareness to how things need to change and improve.

Bottle of pills: This image stuck out to me the most. It is a large plastic container holding hundreds of white, standard size pills. The container is covered with Georgia newspaper pages held down by clear tape. I liked this one because there was no context behind it. It could mean a lot of things. Unless explained by the creator, it is just up to the interpreter. The fact that there is such an extensive protest against the healthcare system in our country or a protest against the things in our food that cause sickness that force people to take medications for the rest of their lives. The absence of knowledge about this image is what makes it’s so rhetorical. The only words are the words on the newspaper. Those could mean something or they could have just been random just to serve the purpose of preventing the pills from spilling. No matter the meaning of this piece, whether art or protest, it creates conversation. It makes one question the meaning which is its purpose, in my opinion. There is an ongoing crisis of healthcare in the United States. This has led to many protests and a lot of conversation around the world. If this piece was used to talk about healthcare, I interpret it this way: The pills inside represent the people of America. The container represents being bottled in. It represents the lack of care and freedom in health. People cannot choose their healthcare plans because they cannot afford it. People who do not have thousands to spend on healthcare are forced to do nothing about their health or find health clinics that cannot do as much as they need. People are stuck and the government does not care enough. The purpose of this image is to make people think and it was very successful in that regard.

Islamophobic protest sign: This image is from a protest against racism and islamophobia. It is a white sign on a wooden stick. It reads “Islamophobic violence is nurtured by histories of anti-black racist violence” It then shows that it is a quote from Angela Y. Davis. It has ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘racist violence; underlined and in larger letters than the rest. This rhetoric focuses on the words because in this case, they are the most important part. You can ask why she used a white sign instead of blue or black, but you might find that insignificant in looking at the rest of the image. The words are the first, most important thing you will see. The first word written is Islamophobic written in bigger letters than most of the other words. Not only are we drawn to it because of its size but also because it is the first word. The way I interpret it may be different from the way someone else might. This was created to bring awareness to the problem with racism and islamophobia and to have a voice for it. People are Islamophobic because there has been such a negative stigma on Arabs and their “violence.” Of course 9/11 plays a large part in this fear which is just wrong. There have been more terroristic acts by white Americans than any Muslim or Arab. It is made to seem okay to be afraid of Arab people. Angela Davis is saying that it is made that way because of how normalized anti-black racist violence is. There has been an uncountable amount of racist physical and verbal violence for decade and even centuries. This sign protests against this violence and whoever held it is most likely against Islamophobia and inequality. Taking a political stance against injustices has become more and more effective over decades. Without them, who knows where we would be as a country. Either way, we, as a nation, still have a long, long way to go.

Makerspace Prezi Analog

I chose an ad that shows three women standing in front of two images. It is a before and after. The before image shows scaly, dry skin that is supposed to demonstrate skin before using the product being advertised, Dove body wash. The second image represents smooth, nice skin after using Dove. The ad took social media by storm because many took this advertisement very offensively. The set up of the ad made it appear very racial and controversial.

I chose this ad because there was a lot to unpack within it. It was hard to keep it neat with how much I had to say about it. I could have went on and on unpacking the deeper meanings. This process truly helped me in being able to notice the little but important things that show true visual rhetoric and make up an ad. An ad could be very different depending on the linguistic aspect, the symbols, icons, colors, and many other things. I think this will help a great deal in organizing my actual Prezi ad make it a lot easier! I’m looking forward to it.

10 Minutes Black

No, this isn’t a post about me being black for 10 minutes, especially because I am black 24 hours everyday (which is a struggle within itself). However, this is a post about me not being able to see for 10 minutes. I sat on my bed, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes. I decided to pick out an outfit. I went into my closet and felt around. When you have an attachment to your clothes, you can tell what you have by how it feels. I easily gravitated towards my favorite flannel. Now going into my drawers was a little different. When picking from t-shirts, its hard to know what you’re grabbing. I felt everything. This alone took 5 minutes until I was finally settled on a t-shirt.  It was a pretty exhausting 5 minutes. Then I realized I had to pick out jeans, which I guess can’t be too bad. It wasn’t. Then I got a pair o shoes but I didn’t want to feel around to know which ones I was choosing so I just reached down and grabbed. Then in the last minute or so, I put everything on. I went to the mirror and as the alarm went off, I opened my eyes. It was not an outfit I would ever wear. Between a lime green t shirt, red flannel, and pale pink adidas shoes, I don’t know what could have been worse. The only thing that looked right were the jeans. I learned that I really appreciate sight and that  10 minutes feels like 24 hours when you can’t see.

Roland Barthes’ Rhetoric of the Image

This reading shows that an imagecan be viewed very differently, and is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. When an image has text, like an ad, it shows that the creators of the image wanted the audience to have a certain feeling about the image. In that case, the goal is to sell something.


“All images are polysemous; they imply, underlying  their signifiers, a “floating chain”  of signifieds, the reader able to choose some and ignore others.

I agree with this quote and I already said it pretty much. All images have many meanings and can differ depending on who is viewing it. The reader is able to choose, whether subconsciously or purposely, to notice some things over others, but it is the job of the author to draw attentions to the things they want the audience to see or read.

“Rhetorics inevitably vary by their substance, but not necessarily by their form….” (p 161)

I really do not fully understand this quote. I agree that rhetoric varies based on substance but the quote still confuses me. It could be a simple quote that I’m just overthinking.


Do the creators of an image take all of this into consideration all of the time? It sometimes feels like just simple ideas that didn’t take much thought. The way Barthes breaks it down is very helpful but do the creators really think about all of this?

If rhetorics do not always vary by their form, why is form so emphasized and implied in the reading and in other readings?