‘Make America Great Again’ billboard causing stir

For Freedoms billboard in Pearl
For Freedoms billboard in Pearl
For Freedoms billboard in Pearl

By Shanderia K. Posey

A billboard in Pearl along Hwy. 80 is causing quite a stir on social media with some people calling the ad racist.

The words “Make America Great Again” — which was the campaign slogan of now president-elect Donald Trump — is centered on the ad with a photo in the background of what appears to be a snapshot of marchers during Bloody Sunday in 1965 in Selma, Ala.

The ad is paid for by For Freedoms. According to its website, For Freedoms was founded in 2015 and is the first artist-run super PAC, that uses art to inspire deeper political engagement for citizens who want to have a greater impact on the American political landscape.

Co-founders of For Freedoms are Hank Willis Thomas, who is black, and Eric Gottesman, who is not black.

Thomas’ bio states he is a “photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture.” He holds degrees from New York University and the California College of the Arts.

Gottesman’s bio states he ”photographs, writes, makes videos, teaches and uses art as a vehicle to engage people in critical conversations about the social structures that surround them and him.” He is a visiting associate professor in film and photography and video at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.

This story will be updated after speaking with a For Freedoms representative.

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