Three Fifths

2011
Chalk on black paper
60″ x 84″

Three Fifths
2011
Chalk on black paper
60" x 84"

My major project for my third year drawing class back in 2011.

In 1787, state delegates at the U.S. Constitutional Convention we’re attempting to determine whether slaves should be counted towards a state’s population. And if so, how they should be counted.

There came a decision called “The Three Fifths Compromise”, which stated that, for this purpose, only three out of every five slaves would be counted as a person, which gave the Southern states more seats in Congress and more electoral votes than if slaves were ignored, but fewer seats and votes than if slaves had been counted as equally as non-slaves.

And blacks were not given the right to vote until the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, almost 100 years later. So this is a picture of me, with two fifths missing, surrounded by historical black figures whose portraits are also incomplete. See below for the individual versions of the image above.

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