The image that I used for this assignment is a caricature created by an Australian cartoonist named Mark Knight, who has a reputation for creating controversial cartoons. Back in 2018, this image was used in an Australian newspaper after the US Open Final featuring Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Knight and the newspaper received backlash, from many:
The Washington Post ran a searing post about Knight’s cartoon, calling it “racist” and reminiscent of the era of racial segregation in the United States.
“Knight draws facial features reflecting the dehumanizing Jim Crow caricatures so common in the 19th and 20th centuries,” commentator Michael Cavna wrote.
Another US media platform pointed out that “Osaka was portrayed as petite and feminine with jet blonde straight hair — in real life, she has dark curly hair with blonde streaks and is taller than Williams”
I was unsure what direction I wanted to take with this assignment in the beginning, but I figured why not use this as a way to depict the current reality of many POC across the nation. I can admit, I was hesitant to share this at first because I understand topics such as racism make people uncomfortable both those who are directly and indirectly affected by it. No matter what your stance is, racism is very much alive within our country as it has been for centuries. The uncomfortable conversations of racism are something we all need to be having, especially considering current events.