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It Takes a Nation: Art for Social Justice

with Emory Douglas, and the Black Panther Party, AFRICOBRA, and Contemporary Washington Artists

Curated by Sandy Bellamy

September 6 through October 23, 2016


Willis Thomas, Raise Up

Courtesy of Emory Douglas, Artist Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo courtesy of Art Resource, NY.


Willis Thomas, Raise Up

Willis Thomas, Raise Up, 2013.
Bronze, 112 x 10 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, and Goodman Gallery, South Africa.


Emory Douglas, Justice Scales

Emory Douglas, Justice Scales
Emory Douglas / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.
Photo courtesy: Emory Douglas / Art Resource, NY.


Wadsworth Jarrell, Revolutionary

Wadsworth Jarrell, Revolutionary, edition 275/300, 1972.
Serigraph on Wove paper, 26 x 33 in.
Courtesy of the artist.


Njena Surae Jarvis, E, Gun Gun

Njena Surae Jarvis, E, Gun Gun, 2016.
Leather, rubber, wool, felt, gypsum, and glass, 7.5 x 4 x 4 ft. Courtesy of the artist.


Exhibition Description

In the Alper Initiative space, Washington artists respond to the graphics of Black Panther artist Emory Douglas with sculpture, paintings, photography and multi-media installations. The exhibition features Emory Douglas and Howard University colleagues and members of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (“AFRICOBRA”): Jeff Donaldson, Akili Ron Anderson, James Phillips, Jay Jarrell and Wadsworth Jarrell. Collectively, they create a powerful lens to the socio-political landscape of the late 1960s and 70s that helps to visualize the 1967 Black Panther Party 10-point platform addressing issues of freedom, employment, economic exploitation, affordable housing, education, war, police brutality, prison, due process, and access. The exhibition also includes artists examining these same issues 50 years later within a contemporary context, including: Holly Bass, Wesley Clark, Jay Coleman, Larry Cook, Tim Davis, Jamea Richmond Edwards, Shaunte Gates, Jennifer Gray, Amber Robles Gordon, Njena Jarvis, Simmie Knox, Graham Patrick, Beverly Price, Sheldon Scott, Stan Squirewell and Hank Willis Thomas.

Related Events

September 10, 6-9 pm: Early Fall Opening Reception 

September 26, 6 pm: "All the Power to the People!" An Artist's Talk with Emory Douglas

September 29, 6-8 pm: Film Screening of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. 

October 8, 2-3:30 pm: Panel Discussion: The Creative Process of Bringing Truth to Power: The Art of the Black Panthers and AFRICOBRA. RSVP required.  

October 15, 2-3:30 pm: Panel Discussion: Riffing on the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement. RSVP required. 


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