Courtesy of Library of Congress, Harrington, Oliver W., 21 September 1963
Political cartoonist Oliver Harrington published this cartoon in 1963 that depicts two African-American boys dressed for school who are running from a crowd of angry people. Harrington created the piece as a form of social commentary on the protests occurring of individuals wanting to preserve segregation, even as the U.S. Supreme Court and federal government continued to push for integration of public schools.
- The job of a political cartoonist is to address important issues by bringing attention, and often humor, to the situation. They tend to exaggerate certain aspects in order to entertain their audiences, but there are usually strong undertones of truth. What message was political cartoonist Oliver Harrington trying to say in this cartoon?
- How does the fact that this cartoon was published in Pittsburgh, Penn., shape its meaning?
- Imagine that the student on the left is saying to the student on the right the words featured on the cartoon. Why would they say that? What evidence from the rest of the cartoon supports your thoughts?
Harrington, Oliver W., "Dark laughter. Now I aint so sure I wanna get educated," 21 September 1963. Courtesy of Library of Congress