The Revolutionary Artwork of the Black Panther Party’s Emory Douglas

As Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense from 1968-1980, revolutionary artist Emory Douglas created images that spoke to the need for revolution for tens of millions of Black people in the United States subjected to police terrorism, legalized discrimination, massive unemployment and crushing poverty. Through his art in The Black Panther Party newspaper, Douglas challenged U.S. imperialism, police occupation of Black communities, wealth inequality, corporate greed, the American penal system, and FBI surveillance of revolutionary activity. Below a selection of his artwork has been reproduced, though by no means is this meant to be a complete collection of Douglas’s decades of revolutionary art.

“Imperialists: All this proves even more clearly that U.S. imperialism is the most barbarous and shameless aggressor of modern times, the main force of aggression and war, the chieftain of world reaction, the bulwark of modern colonialism, the strangler of the national liberation and independence, and the disturber of world peace.”
“The racist dog policeman must withdraw immediately from our communities, cease their wanton murder, brutality and torture of Black people, or face the wrath of the armed people.” – Huey P. Newton
Local police, National guard, Marines – It’s all the same
Community Control of Police
Community Control of Police
U.S. Imperialists and Associates
“Let the pigs oink for themselves, till their last oink.”
Richard M. Nixon and John N. Mitchell
“Whatever is good for the oppressor has got to be bad for us.”
What is a pig?
“Our fight is not in Vietnam”
“Revolution in our lifetime”
“When I spend more time fightin’ the rats, than taking care of my children you know, it makes me realize that I have a right to kill the greedy slumlords who forces me to live in these inhuman conditions.”
“Afro-American solidarity with the oppressed People of the world”
War criminals Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger
Free Food Program of the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense
Douglas’s depiction of the FBI’s COINTELPRO and its targeted murder of BPP members
Political Prisoner of USA Fascism Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale
Prison Camps U.S.A.
Capitalism Plus Racism Breeds Fascism
Deputy Chairman of the Black Panther Party Fred Hampton was murdered by the fascist FBI and Chicago pigs in his own home
Free All Political Prisoners
This is America – 1776-1976

18 thoughts

  1. I am researching a paper on art history, and it is really fascinating to me the aesthetic parallels between Elizabeth Catlett, Barbara Kruger and Emory Douglas

      1. Yes my friend! It’s like vicious circle. But it’s up to people, how they can break this brutal circle! Especially after this pandemic, after lived through horrible health systems, the people of the planet must aware of there is not any good from these business-coop governments to the peoples!

          1. I agree with you! People are seeing the governments behaviors. On the planet there is no government say to people “You stay at home and I will pay your bills or rent, give free health care, and supply your food and health or cleaning metarials etc.” People have been starting to question “if our government which takes all taxes from all things I buy or bills, cannot help in this life and death situation to us, where our taxes went?”

            1. I’m always trying to tell them where it went but they don’t want to listen. It’s going towards nuclear weapons, the military, bombs, killing fellow human beings. It’s not helping the working people at all.

              1. The ones who don’t want to listen maybe would understand when they will be hungry! Today my friend, I’ve read an article about threat of famine in food. You know these days are the beginning of the season spring in the northern hemisphere. Seasonal seedlings need to be planted so that people can eat their vegetables in the summer. Maybe trillions of seedlings are waiting to be planted right now on planet. But there is the difficulty of distribution, the workers who will plant them, and the financial deficiencies of the farmers. Besides the pandemic, there is a danger of food famine in the summer at northern hemisphere, according to article.

              2. You are right. I think with time maybe more people will awaken to the fact that our society is not built to provide for the needs of the average person, but for the Bezos and the Bloombergs of the world. I have been reading a lot about the Russian Revolution lately and how in 1905 nobody believed the 300 year rule of the Romanov dynasty would ever come to an end, but just a decade late the entire Russian monarchy would come tumbling down.

              3. Yes, the people did not believe it. However, there is a situation that the Russians are very patient, and especially the Russian peasants as hard as the soil and endured in silence to every bad things.

                Maybe Tzar Nikolai convinced yourself with this thought: “Russians would never riots.” But in the days of before revolution, he made worse of worse things. In the bloody sunday of Russia, he made at least 130 unarmed and calm protestors killed in 1905. And deserved the “Nicholas the Bloody” nickname one more time. Also, between 1906 and 1910, 5,777 people were sentenced to death from “political crime”; 3, 741 people were executed by order of the Tsar Nikolai. It was also stated by foreign ambassadors that there would definitely be a movement against the Tsar. Even they were asking “this movement will come from people or in palace, so inside?”

                If we want to compare those days with today’s, I see that there are differences in many respects, but compatibility with human nature. And if we ask about revolution, for me the guideness of Lenin is important. As he wrote in 1903:

                “What, generally speaking, are the symptoms of a revolutionary situation? We shall certainly not be mistaken if we indicate the following three major symptoms: When it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes”, a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth.

                For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in “peace time”, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the “upper classes” themselves into independent historical action.”

              4. That is a great analysis you have there! I’m sure you are aware of this quote by Lenin as well.
                “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
                It appears we are living in the weeks where decades happen.

              5. And I remember this one too, “All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.” it was said in Battlestar Galactica.:) Yes, this one came to my mind after I sip vodka, haha! You see my earthling friend, my comments differences between morning and evening.:))

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