Monday, January 20, 2014

The Banjo

When I found this image from 1865 struck me as quite interesting. It was printed as carte de visite size, and therefore likely it was meant to be collected. It portrays an African American young man sitting on the ground against a wall and plucking or perhaps tuning a banjo.

But, the writing on the wall behind him is what really caught my attention. It reads "De Jubelo Hab Cum, I'se gwyne to change my tune." In other words - in my interpretation - now that freedom has arrived its it time to make a way for myself. I can't help but wonder if there is some significance to the brick under his right leg. Is it perhaps a reference to a some kind of foundation?

Any insight or thoughts out there?

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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