The Truth Behind the American Dream

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

Pictured in the photograph is a stagnant line of African-American men and women. Their facial expressions are sorrowful and defeated, and their worn clothing, scuffed shoes and tattered hats signify that they're of working or low-class status. Conversely, illustrated on the billboard is a cheerful, white, middle-class family, carelessly driving across the plains of the United States. The phrases depicted across the billboard, narrate the billboard's intended optimistic message of America as a safe haven of equality and opportunity. Though, the message is quickly discredited after viewing the photograph, which blatantly displays the fabrication of the intended message when viewed against the visual presentation of the stark differences between the two races.  

The framing of the photograph emphasizes a hidden metaphor contained in the billboard. The way in which the photograph was taken draws the viewers attention to the differences between the two races captured in the image. Further analyzation of the photo reveals the metaphor behind a white family driving the car across America. Choosing to display a white family driving the car, as opposed to another race, symbolizes that white Americans are the race responsible for achieving American advancement and opportunity. The white family is the dominant image in the photo, and their positioning in the photograph make the car appear to be driving over and on top of the line of African-Americans standing before them. Thus, the symbolism in the photo serve to relay a more realistic message of the actual hierarchy and discrimination present in American culture.