A Long and Sordid History comes from Tumblr user Anarchy And A Cup Of Coffee and can’t be traced back further as there is no link to the original posting of the cartoon.
The cartoon shows three panels, each has a black man is kneeling or sitting and a white man is telling him to get up. The different panels represent different moments in history where blacks have been staging sit-ins or protests against the current conditions. From the decades of slavery where people were worked to death and just wanted a break, to the sit-ins of the Civil Rights movements, to the NFL protests that sparked outrage in 2017, African Americans have been stirring up white men telling them to stand for years.
The use of analogy through the cartoon represents the history of the Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter protests. African Americans have spent decades on decades in positions where whites have been telling them to get up and from the slavery era to recent history, seemingly nothing has changed. Labeling of the ‘Whites Only’ sign of the middle frame emphasizes the era and to why the white man is telling the black man to get up. The positioning of the speech bubble “Get Up” being in the same place across each pannels represents the irony of feeling like we’ve come a long way as a since the abolishment of slavery, while in retrospect we haven’t.
The cartoonist is on the side of the movement. Showing the lack of change over hundreds of years that America has for African Americans, the artist is representing the left side of the political spectrum showing that we need to do more to change the way things are.
A Long And Sordid History could start arguments with those who identify as Republicans. As they often like to pointing saying we’ve come a long way and at least the NFL player isn’t a slave, they’re still often very racist towards issues people of color face. These people that would disagree with the cartoon think that either these people need to stop complaining because they have equal rights (though they in as don’t as they lack the opportunity and privilege).
This cartoon is persuasive to showing the history around the issues African Americans face on a day to day life and across history. It shows truly how not a lot has changed despite history telling us it has towards African American rights in this country.
I think the cartoonist could’ve used symbolism to make the cartoon more persuasive. There isn’t anything obvious towards the symbolism of the issues or the eras represented in the cartoon.