Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Panther artist visits campus Wednesday

Graphic artist Emory Douglas, a member of the original Black Panther Party, is scheduled to discuss how art can raise awareness about poverty and other world challenges when he visits WIU- Macomb in a 7 p.m. appearance in the Union Sandburg Theater on Wednesday.

Douglas’s 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. In an interview with Dossier magazine last year, Douglas told Mitchell S. Jackson that writing itself was more of a struggle than art.

“I was never really a writer,” Douglas said. “I learned how to write while I was in the Party. There were things that I wrote myself that the editors worked on with me. It was always a collaborative thing. I was inspired by people like Eldridge Cleaver, by Huey Newton’s writing. And then there was Amical Cabral, the African brother, who said you have to be able to speak in a way that even a child can understand. That always stuck with me in my art – to draw in a way that even a child could see.”

Douglas continues to produce posters about issues such as children’s health and advancing efforts to address global AIDs.

Here’s a link to a video interview with Douglas: