This image gives a depiction of one of the most pressing current issues in society’how poverty traps young people into bondage and also the links between slavery and today’s poverty among African-American people. Looking at the image, one can see two key things. First is the demonstration in the image that the ball and chain represent poverty. This is clear, open, and visceral. There is an undercurrent, though. Given that the child carrying the burden is black and the image shows actual shackles, it is more than just a burden. It is a means of showing the links between poverty and the old world norms of slavery.
There are many ways in which poverty traps young people. For one, poverty traps young people by ensuring that they have poor access to schools and the resources they need. In the United States today, the quality of one’s school is mostly determined by how much money his or her parents have. This is true both for primary education and for higher education. When people are born into poverty, they may get ahead, but this is exceedingly rare and only comes when the child is able to perform extraordinarily well while carrying behind them a huge weight.

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In addition, this image shows how slavery has a strong impact on the current world. Slavery has an impact because of the nature of the American system. The wealth generated on the backs of black people in the 1700s and 1800s did not just go away. It was passed down, and it contributes to inequity today. On top of that, the legacy of slavery shapes the current racial reality. Racism in the US in its current forms are based in some of the same fear and norms that were developed back when people were stealing and enslaving Africans for economic gain.

  • Eaton, William W., et al. “Socioeconomic status and depressive syndrome: the role of inter-and intra-generational mobility, government assistance, and work environment.”‘Journal of Health and Social Behavior’42.3 (2001): 277.