The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution makes everyone born in the United States a citizen, entitled to equal protection in every state. How have notions of equality shifted with the recognition and intersection of race, class, and gender in American society?
We have, as all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of Government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed.
The notion of equality has been simplified to mean treating everyone the same. Equality aims to promote fairness, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same things in order to enjoy full, healthy lives. Art is an invitation to freely talk about issues of inequality and our different needs and wants. It is a powerful tool for advocacy and equality by promoting communication, inclusion, and cultural transformation. Because visual images transcend barriers of spoken and written language, they connect us to our common humanity.
In this collection, you will find artworks that:
- tell untold stories and give voice to the underrepresented
- share narratives of survival and resistance from individuals and communities facing fear, violence, and repression
- defend human rights and democracy in an ever-evolving, diverse, twenty-first-century America
Explore the ways American art addresses justice through the questions and artworks below.
How does social and/or economic equality impact artistic practice?
How can the arts advance issues of equity in communities?
Has the meaning of equality looked the same during different time periods throughout history?
What is the difference between equality and equity?