IMAGE: Pirkle Jones. Black Panthers drilling before Free Huey Rally, DeFremery Park, Oakland, CA, #23 from A Photographic Essay on The Black Panthers. © Regents of the University of California. Courtesy Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz.
The San Francisco Art Institute in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz will exhibit the photographic essay, BLACK PANTHERS, 1968 by Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones. Initially shown at San Francisco's DeYoung Museum from December 1968 through February 1969, this show will coincide with the 50-year anniversary of its original exhibition; which in its controversy in 1968 made the DeYoung “relevant” to a broader community some 50 years ago. The work is still pertinent today and will serve as a platform to discuss issues of documentary photography, social activism, and how the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s in many ways manifests itself in the social context of today.
Poetic Politics and Black Futures is a living archive of political possibilities. Artists Kija Lucas, Tosha Stimage, 5/5 Collective, and Chris Martin present a range of creative and radical resistance. Working in concert with the archival photographs, this exhibition of contemporary work assembles a new understanding of the Black political imagination. To disrupt the assumption that activism need to be aggressive or didactic, they employ symbolism associated with Black radical traditions, making space for nuance and complexity.