"American Dream" by Raymond Saunders is a 2-D painting which also makes use of the medium of newspaper. The colors used are black, white, and red, and along with these colors, the artist has made use of lines to create a striking image. The majority of the canvas is black, and on top of the black paint is a vintage newspaper clipping of an African American couple. The fact that the image in the newspaper clipping is clearly not from the 70's reads to me that this is a social commentary similar to something like "A Raisin In The Sun", which took place in the 50's and also dealt with the idea of the American Dream, and what that meant for African Americans. The 50's and 60's were a time when the America was changing, and this also affected the idea of the American Dream. As populations such as the African Americans became closer to White citizens (the ability to vote, the emergence of African American pride and culture), the ability to achieve the American Dream started to become a reality. Yet, the concept of the Dream has ever since been muddled. Some think of the American Dream as revolving around money, while some see it as being an educated and decent American citizen. Either way, it is clear that at some point, African Americans were also promised the American Dream.
The large black section of the painting with the newspaper clipping signifies to me the mass of African Americans - or Americans in general - who were promised the American Dream, and who tried to achieve it. The red line to me marks the American Dream. The space below the red line is very small. The message overall seems to me to be that African Americans, during a time when things like slavery and Jim Crow laws were behind them and they were almost comparable to White American citizens, started facing a different side of racism. That is, the problems that come with being a discriminated against population in the modern world, where people aim to be successful and educated and wealthy.