America – a nation of one people from many countries
by Emma Bourne
The map conspicuously disregards state boundaries and instead displays constellations of ethnicities populating each region of the U.S. Red banners course through the country identifying people from Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Holland, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Albania, Poland, Greece, Canada, etc. The illustrations in the south depict both African-Americans (”Negroes”) and Caucasians picking cotton together. According to Rebecca Onion, Langston Hughes drew a burning cross and "KKK" near the cotton workers on his copy. For the more densely settled northeast and the vicinity of Detroit, Bourne supplies pop-out keys that indicate the diversity of the citizens in these areas. People are shown at work in a wide variety of industries throughout the country, suggesting the contribution to American productivity made by all citizens.
While Native Americans are nowhere to be found on the land proper, in the bottom right corner, Bourne appends a note next to the head of a Native American off the coast of Florida: "With the exception of the Indian, all Americans or their forefathers came here from other countries. This map shows where they live, what they do, and what their religion is." A large inset scroll, lower left, lists famous figures under the four headings "Literature," "Science," "Industry," and "The Arts," with their professions and ethnicities, including John Steinbeck (Germany), George Gershwin (Russia), Albert Einstein (Germany), et al. This same inset offers statistics on religious practices in America.
26th of February, 2021
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