BLACK PANTHER: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas traces the searing graphic art made by Emory Douglas (b. 1943) while he worked as Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until its discontinuation in the early 1980s. The Black Panthers cultivated a strong graphic identity for their group and their politics during this period, bringing their concerns to the public through newspapers, posters, and pamphlets that can often be described as angry, militant, and incendiary.

“The graphic production of Douglas reveals an unmistakable humanism, representing a populace that had been denied access to the American dream but who were emerging from segregation and proudly fighting to assert their rights to the American dream of equality for all. Douglas’s work gave potent visual form to the plight of urban mothers and to the humanitarian work undertaken by the Black Panthers to bring social services to their communities.

“The graphic work that Douglas created for print can also be seen within the context of Bay Area visual production from this period, revealing a kinship at times to work by artists such as Peter Saul or R. Crumb, while also serving as a stark antidote to the hedonism embodied in the posters promoting psychedelic rock across the Bay….

“Organized by artist and MOCA Ahmanson Curatorial Fellow Sam Durant with MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, this compelling exhibition presents approximately 150 of Emory Douglas’s most influential works. In place of a catalogue, the exhibition will be accompanied by a monographic book on the work of Emory Douglas, edited by Sam Durant and published in February 2007 by Rizzoli.”

Sunday, Oct 21 3pm:
“Emory Douglas will discuss the graphic art that he created for the Black Panther Party during the late 1960s through the early ’80s. Following his talk, Douglas will sign copies of the exhibition’s accompanying publication at MOCA Pacific Design Center.”

Los Angeles
Exhibition at the MOCA Pacific Design Center
10.21.07 – 01.20.08

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith.

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