Leigh Raiford of CODEZ interviews revolutionary Black artist, Emory Douglas.
–For those of us born in the seventies, the post-soul generation, the artwork of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party (1967-1979) and Revolutionary Artist (4Life), is wedged deep in our political unconscious. Our revolutionary imaginings have been fueled by Douglas’s powerful thick-lined drawings of armed and determined black children, stern-faced black men, righteous sisters, and avaricious pigs in uniform getting what was coming to them.
Leigh Raiford: What is revolutionary art today?
Emory Douglas: Overcoming obstacles. I mean then, now, in the future. Once you achieve a certain success, or establish a certain criteria as it relates to concerns then you have to implement that thing. And once you implement it it’s revolutionary. So it’s about overcoming obstacles, it’s dealing with change, the process of change. And giving people some insight into the issues that we’re dealing with. Racism. Racism is a rampant thing. In a way, it’s been almost mainstreamed now, to justify it. Apologists for it. These are things that perhaps can be thought out. How can you express that so people can see that? They may be thinking about it but they don’t see it visually.
But then again what you had then we had organizations. But now you got electronic media where you can access and reach millions of people in that way. But the actual out- there organization that we did during that period when the art was art of consciousness it was… You know you were out there, you had that connection, actual physical connection. So it’s a great difference now than then in a lot of ways. Because lots of people put their stuff on electronic media for people to look at. They get inspired, they’re moved they do something.
Read the entire Emory Douglas/CODEZ interview here.