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The Problem We All Live With - Norman ROCKWELL

Norman ROCKWELL is a painter and illustrator born in New York in 1894 and died in 1978 in Stockbridge. Rockwell therefore takes a stand and denounces the attacks against this child who only goes to school.

On the wall we see the inscriptions «negro» (racist insult) and KKK (= Ku Klux Klan, racist sect founded in 1865). At the foot of the wall, we see crushed tomatoes but especially their impacts on the wall. These elements reinforce the context of racial tension and violence in which the girl must navigate to access education.

In the centre of the painting is an African-American woman named Ruby. She is dressed in a white dress and matching shoes. The girl holds a notebook and a rule, indicating that she is ready for school. The framing belongs to the young Ruby, so it is easier to identify with her.

The four white marshals escort the little girl to her new school. They are anonymous, they represent the federal power that supports the politics of desegregation. These marshals are protective, of course, but also very intimidating.