Colescott combines anger, irony and humor to comment on the status of African Americans during the Vietnam era. A black G.I. is engaged in battle; the smoke from his gun forms an outline of Vietnam. Hovering in the sky is a blonde, blue-eyed woman typifying the stereotypical American ideal of female beauty, as suggested in Don McLean’s 1971 hit song “American Pie.” Black soldiers fought in Vietnam for the ideals of white America, suggests Colescott, while that same society often denied them the very freedoms for which they were fighting.
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