August 27, 2008

The Democratic Flag

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DNC Guest Post by Cara Finnegan, First Efforts

This image led the Yahoo! News Tuesday morning DNC slideshow on Michelle Obama’s speech.

It’s a still version of the cut-away-to-delegates shot that is a staple of television’s coverage of conventions. The candidate mentions Medicare? Show a shot of an elderly woman! The candidate mentions civil rights? Find an African American delegate in the audience!  But this image is different, and I suspect we’ll be seeing many more of its kind this week.

It’s an image of listening, as Illinois delegate Margie Woods focuses on Michelle Obama’s speech. But it’s also an image of watching and perhaps even recognition. You’d like to think that the white man behind Woods recognizes the historical weight of this moment – if not for himself than for the African American woman holding the flag. The flag, visually at least, connects them both.

(image: Brian Snyder/Reuters.  caption: Illinois delegate Margie Woods listens to Michelle Obama addressing the opening session of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 25, 2008.)

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Michael Shaw
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