Item #8057 [Poster with image of Huey Newton on left and Imperial Wizard of the KKK on the right.]

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[Poster with image of Huey Newton on left and Imperial Wizard of the KKK on the right.]

[Toronto: Rochdale College, Coach House Press, ca. 1970?]. Poster, 20.875” x 15.875” plus margins. CONDITION: Very good, two strips of discoloration (.5” x 4”) at upper margin.

An arresting purple poster opposing two iconic photographic images, each taken in the late 1960s, of Black Panther Minister of Defense Huey Newton and KKK Imperial Wizard Robert M. Shelton.

The portrait of Huey Newton, attributed to Blair Stapp, shows Newton wearing a leather jacket and beret and seated on a rattan throne, a shotgun in his right hand and a spear in his left, with a pile of cartridges at his feet and leaf-shaped, Zulu-style shields on either side of him. The image was published by the Black Panthers as a poster in 1968, with a caption at the bottom left reading: “‘The racist dog policemen must withdraw immediately from our communities, cease their wanton murder and brutality and torture of black people, or face the wrath of the armed people.’ : Huey P. Newton, Minister of Defence.” The image of Robert Shelton, Imperial Wizard of the KKK, was published as a poster in 1969, and shows Shelton in blue hood and robes before a burning cross. Neither image is captioned here.

We acquired this poster from a source in Toronto, where it was probably published. Influenced by the American movement as well as by individual activists from the U.S. who came to live in Canada in the 1960s, the Canadian Black Power movement was active in the 1960s and ‘70s. In Toronto, the Afro-American Progressive Association and the Black Liberation Front of Canada (BLFC) hosted Black Panthers and other U.S. activists for teach-ins, solidarity rallies, and other events. Several seminars were held at Rochdale College, Toronto’s short-lived but famous student-run educational and housing cooperative, which was founded in 1968 and shut down in 1974. This poster was likely published as part of joint Rochdale-Black Power actions, perhaps by the Coach House Press, which remains a leading independent publisher in Canada, and was then under the editorship of Victor Coleman and closely affiliated with the college. The press conducted workshops for students and printing avant-garde ephemera, small literary magazines, books, posters, and even blotter paper for Rochdale’s LSD.

REFERENCES: Black Liberation News Vol. 1, No. 2, 1969, pictured at the University of Toronto Libraries online; “Coach House Press (1965–1975),” Library and Archives Canada online; Harris, Christopher. “Canadian Black Power, Organic Intellectuals, and the War of Position in Toronto 1967–1975,” The CLR James Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1/2 (2014).

Item #8057

Price: $850.00

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