Hale Woodruff, The Banjo Player


Woodruff reimagines racist tropes of Black banjo players with a figure who is confident and joyful.

Please note, this video includes historical images that are racist. Hale Woodruff, The Banjo Player, 1929, oil on canvas, 60.33 x 73.03 cm (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond). A Seeing America video


Additional resources

This work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

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Cite this page as: Dr. Leo G. Mazow and Dr. Beth Harris, "Hale Woodruff, The Banjo Player," in Smarthistory, December 1, 2021, accessed March 3, 2024, https://smarthistory.org/hale-woodruff-the-banjo-player/.