Essay about A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Essay about A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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Fred Barnard was the first to claim, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. As an advertising manager in the early 1920’s, pictures were central to his position in advertising trams (Blackwell). Forty years later a picture was taken of Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., Joseph McNeil and David Richmond sitting at a counter of a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina. This picture was clearly not taken to be utilized as an advertisement of a product or company. Instead, it was taken to publicize the growing unrest among the black population. Beyond that, this picture is central to the story of the ramifications of segregation in downtown America, specifically Greensboro, during the 1960’s.
Upon first examining this picture without any background knowledge, several things are prominent. The four men sitting at the counter are all well-dressed, same-aged young black men and they share homogenous expressions of frustration, determination and anger. Despite the discontentment, it looks as if the man in the third seat from the left has a book laid open, prepared to read for hours. The black man behind the counter has the posture of someone who is ashamed or embarrassed with his actions, trying not to make eye contact with the unserved customers. The final impression is made by the solo white female seated at the furthest stool away from the black men. She is eating a meal while staring at the out-of-place individuals seated across from her.
Upon further research, it turns out that these individuals were Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., Joseph McNeil and David Richmond. They were freshmen at the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina and on February 1, 1960, they walked to the F.W. Woolworth Company store and sa...


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...ceful and passive nature of the demonstrations, in contrast to the violent white resistance.
In conclusion, it is clear that this picture truly is worth a thousand words. The segregation and racial concentration of the black population on the east side of Greensboro, where there were not the highly developed shopping centers of the west side, caused them to centralize downtown. In addition, the proximity of the downtown to the educational centers made it easy for the black population to congregate against the oppression in retail. Also, the similar trend of racial zoning and oppression within the development in cities across America allowed for the movement to spread like wildfire. Therefore, the picture is not only representative of the famous sit in movement, but the process of city development that led up the physical separation and oppression between races.




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