Saturday, November 3, 2007
Review: American Legacy "The Art of Liberation"
American Legacy's Fall 2007 issues profiles the art of Emory Douglas and how effective his images spoke to the black community on change and showed The Black Panther Party in true light. After creating a poster announcing the arrival of Betty Shabazz to speak at a rally at City College, the then-student was approached by Black Panther members Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale to aid with their newspaper and the rest remains history. Douglas went on to produce the cutural history of The Panthers through an array of vivid and sometimes self-defensive collages, illustrations, cartoons, prints,posters, and cards, many which are now documented and curated in a new book by Rizzoli publishers and an exhibit at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, CA which opens later this month.
The majority of Douglas's work depicts themes of the oppressed vs the oppressor, manipulation, struggle, brutuality as well as beauty; it reveals a side of the Panther Party that was not allowed to be shown. They were often incited to violence or urged people to go out and kill the police but the truth was a "new policing" to create a sense of consciousness in the black community. Most of Douglas's posters announced free social services such as health clinics, breakfasts for children, transportation, food banks, and screenings for sickle cell anemia.
The article also reveals those who are closest to Douglas and express their opinions and sentiments on this silence icon who fought the system through the power of the pen instead of power of violence.
To read the article in its entirety, American Legacy Fall 2007 issue is on newsstands now or visit the site at www.americanlegacymag.com