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4 Bumps

Picture of slave in compromising position - too graphic to be educational?

NJ library displays drawing of slave having sex with white man


A day after it was put on display, it was covered up due to complaints from employees until they decide what to do about it.  They've since made the decision to leave it uncovered.

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 11:03 PM on Jan. 20, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • I don't know if the library is the best place to display this. Children go there and parents aren't necessarily expecting to see this. At least at a museum you expecting it and you can decide if your children are mature enough for this material.  Also some people might not want to see anything like this because they are offended by the subject matter and they're just going to the library to check out books not look at drawings on display.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 11:10 PM on Jan. 20, 2013

  • I do not think pictures of people having sex of any kind is the proper subject for a painting in an area where children frequent

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:15 PM on Jan. 20, 2013

  • “The library should be a safe harbor for controversies of all types, and those controversies can be dealt with in the context of what is known about art, about literature, democracy and freedom,” Clement A. Price, a library trustee and Rutgers history professor, told The Star-Ledger. “There’s no better venue in Newark where such a powerful and potential controversial drawing should be mounted.”

    I don't know about anyone else, but I have never gone to the library for controversy.

    Answer by 29again at 11:21 PM on Jan. 20, 2013

  • Personally, I find it absolutely disgusting. Why would anyone find the need to paint a picture of a slave giving a BJ!
    A library is not the place for this.

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 11:40 PM on Jan. 20, 2013

  • I don't think a library is an appropriate place for any type of sexual picture hung on the wall. Even in the reference section - when I went back to school there were numerous times I had to drag my kids with me to the library to get some information, source, etc. I would not have been happy if my kids had stumbled on to a picture like that and I had to explain what that was.

    Answer by missanc at 8:53 AM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • i want to see the drawing...its kinda hard to make an informed opinion without seeing the complete work. it seems inappropriate for a library setting, however 2nd floor reference section isnt really somewhere lots of kids are gonna be. it seems like a work more appropriate for a University library, not a public one. i get the point of the work, but its not really something that the public really needs to see.

    if i worked there and the painting offended me i would let it be known that i would prefer not to work around it...that should be accommodatable.

    Answer by okmanders at 12:44 AM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • found it...i can see why they left it uncovered. its not graphic, not the focal point of the piece, and shows the gritty truth of the time period. still think it should be in a University library tho.

    Answer by okmanders at 12:49 AM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • A more accurate description would be a slave being raped by a white man, not so much having sex! Anyway, I dont really see the need for rape scenes to be hung as art in libraries, we know it happened and it's an awful part of American history, its not necessary to have it up on display, in some peoples minds its glorifying it, others even find it funny, just like slavery reenactments are not necessary when school children are taught about slavery, I for one don't want for give it any glory.

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 1:02 AM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • I don't think a public library is an appropriate place to display a painting with sexual content, even if it isn't graphic. Slavery was a very sad and regrettable part of American history, but I don't want to have to explain its reality to my child before she's ready, nor do I want to explain to her what a blowjob is till she's mature enough to handle the information. Slavery has been well documented in books, narratives, and other accounts, and honestly, I think seeing graphic depictions of it now only breeds anger over past wrongs that were perpetrated and suffered many generations ago and have to be put to rest at some point.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:45 AM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • I think it would depend on where in the library and how it was done. It is a real part of our ugly history. Slaves were forced to do much, including raped. In the children's area I would have concerns. In the adult sections where it is for research I would have no issues with it. But it would depend again how it is done. Part of a display depicting that era it is certainly appropriate. In a section meant for relaxation and reading periodicals....not so much.

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:06 AM on Jan. 21, 2013

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