Marketing the Black Panther Party

Back cover   and   front cover

Black Panther Party National Distribution Brochure (San Francisco: [Black Panther Party], 1971). Single folded leaf [ca. 4 pp.] showing posters, pin-back buttons, LPs, and other Panthers’ ephemera, along with an order coupon. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

A scarce piece of Black Panther ephemera was recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection. The fold-out poster is also a sales catalogue for the various buttons, booklets, and other materials promoting the Black Panther Party. Primarily designed by the Party’s Minister of Information Emory Douglas (born 1943), these symbols helped to spread the organization’s message worldwide. The video below presents Douglas talking about the use of the panther icon and the development of other visual materials that were so important to the promotion of their organization:

This website offers an interesting page on the many women of the Black Panther movement, who are often overshadowed by the men: click here. Also on this site are many free downloads of Black Panther Party memorabilia. The material is useful for such diverse classes as “Global Algeria in the 20th Century: Beyond France and Fanon” or “Poetry in the Political & Sexual Revolution of the 1960s & 70s,” described here:

“What does artistic production look like during a time of cultural unrest? How did America’s poets help shape the political landscape of the American 60s and 70s, decades that saw the rise of the Black Panthers, ‘Flower Power,’ and Vietnam War protests? Through reading poetry, studying films and engaging with the music of the times we will think about art’s ability to move the cultural needle and pose important questions about race, gender, class, and sexuality.”

See also: