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The Boy Who Painted Christ Black: A PDF with Discussion Questions and Answers


The Boy Who Painted Christ Black: A Short Story Review




The Boy Who Painted Christ Black is a short story by John Henrik Clarke, a pioneer in the integration of African studies into universities in America. It was published in the 1940s, just about a decade before the Civil Rights Movement, and it deals with the themes of racism, discrimination, societal perception, power, dignity and triumph. The setting of the story is a school for colored children in Georgia, where a talented student named Aaron Crawford presents his teacher a painting of Jesus Christ as a black man. This painting causes an uproar in the school and attracts the attention of a white superintendent who wants to destroy it. The story explores how Aaron, his teacher, and his principal cope with this situation and how they assert their dignity and pride in their identity and culture.


Introduction




Summary of the story




The story is told by an unnamed narrator, who is a classmate of Aaron Crawford. He describes Aaron as a smart, talented, and natural-looking boy who draws amazing images on the blackboard for every occasion. He also says that Aaron is admired by everyone in the school, especially by the black principal who predicts that he will be a great painter someday. The narrator admits that he can never understand Aaron completely, as he seems to have an inner virtue that is beyond his comprehension.




the boy who painted christ black questions and answers pdf download



The story begins with Aaron bringing a large-framed present wrapped in old newspapers to his teacher's birthday. The teacher unwraps it and finds a painting of Jesus Christ as a black man. She is shocked and confused, but she thanks Aaron for his gift. Aaron explains that he painted Christ black because he felt that he was kind and forgiving like black people, and that his uncle had told him that black people were once the most powerful on earth. He also says that nobody had ever proved whether Christ was black or white. The narrator observes that Aaron is proud of his painting, which looks very different from the ones in his Sunday school. He notices that Christ in this painting looks sadder and more pleading.


The painting becomes a sensation in the school, and everyone wants to see it. The principal praises Aaron for his originality and courage, but he also warns him that some people might not like it. He tells him that he will hang it in his office until commencement day, when he will display it in front of everyone. He also tells him that he will invite some important guests to see it, including a white superintendent who is in charge of all schools in the county.


On commencement day, everything goes well until the principal introduces Aaron's painting to the audience. The white superintendent is outraged by it and demands that it be taken down immediately. He accuses Aaron of blasphemy and insults him, his teacher, and his principal. He also threatens to close down the school if they do not obey him. The principal refuses to give in to his intimidation and defends Aaron's right to express himself freely. He says that he will not let anyone destroy his painting or his dignity. He also says that he will resign from his position rather than submit to such injustice.


The story ends with a powerful scene of victory even in the face of short-term defeat. The principal takes down Aaron's painting from the wall and walks out of the auditorium with him. They are followed by Aaron's teacher and all the other students. They walk They walk out of the school building and head towards the bus stop. They are met by a crowd of black people who have heard about what happened. They cheer and applaud them for their bravery and defiance. They also admire Aaron's painting, which the principal holds high above his head. The narrator says that he feels a surge of pride and joy in his heart, and that he knows that Aaron has done something great and noble. He says that he will never forget that day, or that painting, or that boy who painted Christ black.


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Body




Racism and discrimination




One of the main themes of the story is racism and discrimination, which are prevalent in the society where the story takes place. The story shows how black people are oppressed and marginalized by the white majority, who have the power and authority to control their lives. The story also shows how black people are subjected to stereotypes and prejudices, which limit their potential and expression.


How Aaron's painting challenges the white supremacy




Aaron's painting is a bold and radical act of resistance against the white supremacy, which dictates how black people should think, feel, and behave. By painting Christ black, Aaron challenges the dominant image of Christ as a white man, which has been imposed on him by his religion and education. He also challenges the notion that white people are superior and closer to God, while black people are inferior and sinful. He asserts his own vision and interpretation of Christ, based on his own experience and knowledge. He claims his right to represent Christ in his own image, as a reflection of his own identity and culture.


How the principal and the teacher react to Aaron's painting




The principal and the teacher are initially shocked and confused by Aaron's painting, as they have never seen anything like it before. They are also afraid of the possible consequences of displaying such a controversial painting in public. However, they soon overcome their fear and doubt, and they appreciate Aaron's painting for its artistic merit and symbolic value. They recognize that Aaron's painting is a masterpiece of creativity and courage, and that it expresses a profound truth about Christ and humanity. They support Aaron's painting and protect it from being destroyed by the white superintendent.


How the white superintendent tries to suppress Aaron's painting




The white superintendent is enraged by Aaron's painting, as he sees it as a threat to his authority and ideology. He considers Aaron's painting as a blasphemy and an insult to his religion and race. He tries to suppress Aaron's painting by using his power and influence to intimidate and coerce the principal and the teacher. He demands that they take down the painting immediately, or else he will close down the school. He also insults Aaron, his teacher, and his principal, calling them names and accusing them of being ignorant and rebellious. He shows no respect or understanding for Aaron's painting or his perspective.


Societal perception and power




Another theme of the story is societal perception and power, which affect how people see themselves and others. The story shows how people are influenced by the norms and expectations of their society, which shape their identity and behavior. The story also shows how people are affected by the power dynamics of their society, which determine their status and opportunities.


How Aaron's painting reflects his historical and cultural awareness




Aaron's painting reflects his historical and cultural awareness, which sets him apart from his peers and elders. Aaron has learned from his uncle that black people were once the most powerful on earth, ruling over ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Nubia, Mali, Ghana, Songhai, Zimbabwe, etc. He has also learned that black people have contributed greatly to various fields of knowledge such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, literature, art, etc. He has developed a sense of pride He has developed a sense of pride and confidence in his heritage and culture, which he expresses through his painting. He does not accept the negative stereotypes and images of black people that are propagated by the white society. He does not conform to the expectations and limitations that are imposed on him by the white society. He challenges the status quo and asserts his own voice and vision.


How the principal and the teacher struggle with their identity and loyalty




The principal and the teacher struggle with their identity and loyalty, as they are torn between their allegiance to their race and their obedience to their superiors. They are aware of the oppression and injustice that black people face in their


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