Above:”Grandassa Models” © Kwame Brathwaite, 1968
On February 16, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will open its latest exhibition Black Power! in the newly-renovated Main Exhibition Hall. On display through December 2017, Black Power! will invite visitors to delve deeper into the heterogeneous and ideologically diverse global movement that shaped black consciousness and built an immense legacy of community organizing and advocacy that continues to resonate in the United States of America and around the world today. Visitors will also confront misconceptions and truths about the Black Power movement.
Black Power! serves as another touchstone in the Schomburg’s “Black Power 50” focus, a yearlong examination into the 50th anniversary of the Black Power movement. Stokely Carmichael and fellow Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worker Willie Ricks introduced Black Power as a concept in June 1966.
In February 2016, the Schomburg launched “Black Power 50” with a two-part digital exhibition in partnership with Google Cultural Institute. The Schomburg has since released the new exhibition’s catalog Black Power 50 and hosted a series of public programs featuring conversations with leaders of the Black Power movement such as Kathleen Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Iris Morales, and Black Arts Movement luminaries Nikki Giovanni, Askia Touré, and Sonia Sanchez, among many others.
Highlights from the Black Power! exhibition include:
Black Panther Coalition Flyer
A flyer capturing the efforts of the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican Young Lords, the white Young Patriots, the Chinese-American I Wor Kuen, and the Inmates Liberation Front united to demand the release of the Panther 21, who were arrested in April 1969 on suspicion of planning to bomb several sites in New York City.
First Issue of The Black Panther
Bobby Seale and Elbert “Big Man” Howard published the first mimeographed issue of The Black Panther on April 25, 1967. Howard, an original member of the Black Panther Party, served as the publication’s first editor. ·
Letter from Arab Women to Angela Davis
A letter of support to Angela Davis from The Arab Women’s League of Jordan, capturing how the fate of political prisoners in the United States received worldwide attention.
Photo of Black Panthers in Israel
A photo of Black Panther Party Members in Israel who were part of the Mizrahi community: Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who denounced and fought against the economic and cultural domination of European Jews. Their leader wears a T-shirt reading Black Panthers in Hebrew.