College of Arts and Sciences

African American Studies to co-host visual artist Emory Douglas

November 19, 2009

Visual artist Emory Douglas will speak on the campus of Western Illinois University in a public talk entitled "Emory Douglas - Revolutionary Artist: Black Panther Party Politics and Concern for the Community by Design," to be held December 3, 2009, 7 pm in the new Sandburg Lounge. This event is free and open to the entire campus and Macomb community.

In keeping with the 2009-2010 University Theme of “Personal Finance and World Poverty,” Emory Douglas, original Black Panther Party member and graphic artist, will address the role poverty played in the development of social protest movements such as the Black Panther Party for Self Defense of the late 1960s. His art established the visual identity of the party in posters, and in the graphic designs, cartoons, and illustrations he produced for The Black Panther newspaper. His artwork gave voice to the party’s message of protest and empowerment within a community plagued by poverty and police oppression. Douglas continues to produce posters about issues such as children's health and advancing global AIDs. He will speak about how art can raise awareness about poverty and other world challenges.

Douglas’s art has gained international attention, displayed at the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the African American Art & Cultural Complex in San Francisco. A retrospective exhibit of his past and present work was held at Urbis in Manchester, England from October 30, 2008 – April 19, 2009. And, another major retrospective exhibit opened in New York, July 20, 2009 at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He has also recently been the subject of a monograph, Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas (Rizzoli, 2007), a comprehensive collection of his work.

In addition to the public lecture, on Friday, December 4, 2009, Douglas will meet with interest students to conduct a master-class workshop on political art. For information about the workshop contact the Department of Art at 309-298-1549.

This event is co sponsored by the Department of Art, the Department of African American Studies, the African American Studies Department Club, the University Theme Committee and the Provost’s Office. For more information contact Jo-Ann Morgan at or through the Department of African American Studies at 309-298-1181.