Emory Douglas created the visual identity for the Black Panther Party and his iconic images came to symbolize the struggles of the movement. As the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the 1980s, Douglas’s work, described as ‘Militant Chic’, featured in most issues of the newspaper The Black Panther. His work was characterized by strong graphic images of young African Americans men, women and children. He used the newspaper’s popularity to spur people to action, portraying the poor with empathy and as being unapologetic and ready to struggle for basic human rights. Douglas continues to create art with social
ART GUIDED BY PRINCIPLES | Art with vision, intention that reflects a people’s desires and aspirations is an art that’s guided by principals. It transcends borders thus becomes universal in all of its many creative expressions in support of a people’s movements for liberation against all forms of oppression and injustices. As an activist now and as the Revolutionary Artist for the Black Panther Party, 1967-1982 this unifying connection meant we listened, heard and felt deeply the people’s concerns and made the effort to create art that was reflective of those concerns art that communicated a language of enlightenment.
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This article was originally created as part of SOMArts Cultural Center's Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces. To learn how to add or edit content please visit the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism's online History Collection Lab.