Norman Rockwell’s Race Problem

As an addendum to yesterday’s post, a revealing caveat about Norman Rockwell’s political leanings and his relationship with the Saturday Evening Post:

The [The Problem We All Live With] was originally published as a centerfold in the January 14, 1964 issue of Look. Rockwell had ended his contract with the Saturday Evening Post the previous year due to frustration with the limits the magazine placed on his expression of political themes, and Look offered him a forum for his progressive social interests, including civil rights and racial integration. Rockwell explored similar themes in Southern Justice (Murder in Mississippi) and New Kids in the Neighborhood; unlike his previous works for the Post, The Problem We All Live With and these others place black people as protagonists, instead of as observers or in servile roles. Like New Kids in the Neighborhood, The Problem We All Live With depicts a black child protagonist; like Southern Justice, it uses strong light-dark contrasts to further its racial theme.

(Illustration: Norman Rockwell’s ‘The Problem We All Live With’ painting.)