Aaron Douglas’s “Into Bondage” is a powerful depiction of enslaved Africans boun…

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Aaron Douglas’s “Into Bondage” is a powerful depiction of enslaved Africans bound for the Americas. We see shackled figures with their heads hung low. They walk solemnly toward slave ships visible on the horizon. A male figure in the center of the work pauses on a slave block, his silhouette breaching the horizon line. This man’s face is turned toward a beam of light emanating from a lone star in the sky, possibly the North Star.

What other details do you notice in the painting? #blackhistorymonth

Aaron Douglas, “Into Bondage,” 1936, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase and partial gift from Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr., The Evans-Tibbs Collection)




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