Discussion Questions: Sargent Johnson’s Forever Free

Sargent Johnson, Forever Free, 1933; collection SFMOMA, gift of Mrs. E. D. Lederman; © Estate of Sargent Johnson; photo: Don Ross

  1. What words would you use to describe how the artist has portrayed African Americans in this work? Why did you choose those particular words?
  2. Do you think this work gives true or valuable insights into African American people, or is it a stereotyped view? What do you see that makes you say that?
  3. Does this work of art express an emotion? If yes, what emotion?
  4. How does this work reflect the time in which it was made?
  5. Assume the pose of the figure in this work. What adjectives would you use to describe how it feels to stand this way?

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