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(Black) Pride and Prejudice

 TK

SLIDESHOW

Emory Douglas, Untitled (On the Bones of the Opppressors), 1969.

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The Black Panthers’ legacy has long been a matter of controversy. So, too, has their art. Consider, for instance, the Black Panther Coloring Book, drawn by Sacramento party member Mark Teemer, which includes pictures of black people shooting and stabbing police pigs. (And slave-trader pigs, and slave-owner pigs.) The story goes that the FBI used—or perhaps created—the book as propaganda to turn liberal whites against the group. Regardless of its provenance, it’s that clashing of revolutionary fervor, naïveté, violence, and iconography that makes the group an irresistible subject for the Oakland Museum of California’s newest exhibition, All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50. Another Teemer work, a painted rifle butt, is included in the collection along with other artifacts, audio and video recordings from the Panthers’ heyday, and a handwritten copy of the group’s founding Ten-Point Program. The exhibit also includes works from contemporary artists including Hank Willis Thomas (a CCA alumnus) and Carrie Mae Weems, a MacArthur “Genius” grant recipient and former Bay Area resident, as well as Proposal for a Monument to Huey P. Newton for the Alameda County Courthouse, a bronze sculpture of Newton’s iconic rattan throne, by Sam Durant. Oct. 8–Feb. 12, 2017

 

Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco 

Unknown, Untitled, circa 1965.

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