No one should be flabbergasted by the notion that there is still racism in the United States. We’ve all seen the pictures of white-supremacist storming the Capitol, Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. We know about gentrification, gerrymandering, redlining, tokenism, and other catch phrases explaining inequality. That these concepts still define racism in America postulates an exhibit at the UC Davis Design Museum.
The complete title of the new exhibit at the UC Davis Design Museum is: “Still…Racism in America: A Retrospective in Cartoons”. On display are cartoons by the father/daughter duo Brumsic Brandon Jr. and Barbara Brandon-Croft. Brumsic created the comic strip Luther in the late sixties. His daughter Barbara was the nation’s first black female cartoonist. She is known for: Where I’m Coming From.
The Design Quarterly outside of the Design Museum are mock-up newspaper pages about the exhibit. Listed are the subject matters of the exhibit: The Original Sin, White Supremacy, Racial Subjugation, Voting Rights, Racial Disparities, Redlining, Politicians, Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Affirmative Action, Tokenism, Policing, (Mis)Education, Black History, Self-Reflection/Hope. And yes, everything is STILL there.
Inside are cartoon panels mixed from both artists, the year they were published, underneath. I get the stagnation, feel how exhausting it must be, smirk at the sarcasm. But I am still hopeful. The way to equality is to uncover the inequality and make people understand.
The UC Davis Design Museum is open Monday thru Friday noon to 4pm. Admission is free. Located at Cruess Hall, #124, Davis, CA. Still will be on display until April 21, 2024.