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The Black Panthers

by Letizia Rossi in Culture on 29 September 2006

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On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Aperture will release The Black Panthers, a collection of Stephen Shames' never before published photographs of one the most controversial organizations of the Civil Rights movement. From 1967 to 1973 Stephen captured both the enigmatic public face of the Panthers and also the intimate private moments of the group that former FBI head J. Edgar Hoover once described as the country's greatest threat to internal security. The striking photographs illustrate how the political agenda and community service of the Panthers was tied to their aesthetic sense. The image created by the slick leather jackets and berets that were their uniforms was intrinsic to their 10 point plan. As Black Panther's founder Bobby Seale explains in the preface "I understood that good visuals—the graphics in our posters and newspapers and the use of photographs like Stephen Shames' were part of how we could successfully communicate the imagination of people." The Black Panthers includes essays by Bobby Seale and Charles E. Jones. Pre-order from Amazon.

Aperture will be hosting a panel discussion and book signing with Stephen Shames and Bobby Seale for the release of the book on on 12 October 2006 in Oakland, California (where the Panthers were founded) that will also kick-off an exhibition of the photographs. Another event's scheduled for 18 October 2006 in New York City. Details are available from Aperture.


The Black Panthers
Opening reception: Thursday, 12 October 2006 6pm
Exhibition: 12 October 2006 — Monday, 13 November 2006
Asian Resource Gallery
310 Eighth Street
Oakland, CA 94607 map


Wednesday, 18 October 2006
The Great Hall at Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
New York, NY map

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