This image was inspired by a reproduction of the Civil War recruitment poster that had hung in my parents home since I was a child. The title of the piece and the question raised in the poster is one I’ve contemplated for a very long time.
“(Frederick) Douglass’ “Men of Color to Arms” editorial was used to make several recruiting posters (see the above and this one), with sign-offs by many of the most prominent black leaders of the day. Douglass went on to speak throughout the Union in favor of black enlistment; both Douglass and his son Frederick Douglass Jr became army recruiters. (Douglass’ sons Lewis and Charles joined the 54th Massachusetts US Colored Troops regiment, which was made famous in the movie Glory.) “
This image is available as a high quality print at Fine Art America