Howard Chandler Christy’s poster Americans All! (1917, see Figure 2, the frontispiece to the second essay) are immediately apparent, as the Christy girl is a poor allegorical embodiment of the varieties of physical features that the list of ethnic names suggests. The Enlightenment-in- spired egalitarian promise of “All Men Are Created Equal” remains an ideological foundation of any multicultural sensibility, but John Trum- bull’s 1819 painting Declaration of Independence (in its two-dollar bill adaptation, the frontispiece of the third essay, Figure 3) does little to give visual expression to American ethnic diversity. Grant E. Hamil- ton’s cartoon Uncle Sam Is a Man of Strong Features (1898, Figure 4, the image opening the fourth essay) is a valiant, Arcimboldo-style attempt to transform a virtual catalogue of all major ethnic groups—not only English, German, Irish, Swede, French, Italian, Greek, and Russian, but also Indian, Negro, Hebrew, Cuban, Esquimaux, Hawaiian, Turk, and Chinese—into the facial features of the familiar Uncle Sam figure. Uncle Sam’s beard, composed by the only female figure, a stout Quaker woman with piously folded hands, forms a comic counterpoint to the rather wor- risome male specimens. Whether a twenty-first-century viewer is more startled by the Negro and Hawaiian as thick-lipped dark pupils of the eyes, by the big-nosed Hebrew and shiftless Italian as ears, or by the stoic Indian with his outstretched arms as nose and eyebrows, one simply has to wonder about Grant’s employment of grossly stereotypical ethnic fea- tures and his need to give captions to all those figures in order to make the heterogeneous ingredients of America more readily legible.
The fifth and last essay opens with a diagram (Figure 5) adapted from Stewart G. and Mildred Wiese Cole’s Minorities and the American Promise (1954) rather than an image, in order to highlight the significance of the now forgot- ten history of mid-century research about cultural diversity and inter- cultural education.