Research Mentor(s)

Schwartz-DuPre, Rae Lynn

Description

The “Four Black Panthers” is a photograph of Assata Shakur (middle left), Dhoruba bin-Wahad (far left), and two other unknown individuals (middle and far right) that was found attached to the essay Assata Shakur, Excluding the Nightmare After the Dream by bin-Wahad. “Four Black Panthers” is a part of a rich genre of Black Power Era imagery that attempts to portray the collective memory of Black communities and to articulate an alternative history that challenges the hegemonic narrative put-forth in the U.S. The narrative of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is that peaceful, non-violence made the movement. Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy is glorified to drive the idea that disruptive militancy is illegitimate and ineffective, despite militant forms of protest being a norm before the 1950s and readopted by the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. In this study, Mookherjee’s (2018) concept of memory-making as a resistive process supported by other Black Power images is used to analyze how “Four Black Panthers” functions to tell hidden histories and challenges hegemonic narratives. There are three main ways in which “Four Black Panthers” challenges the hegemonic narrative: the symbolism of the Black Panther Party (BPP) uniform, the co-opting of mainstream media, and the use of armed propaganda. Through the heavy symbolic meaning attached to BPP uniforms, the co-opting of mainstream media, and the use of armed propaganda “Four Black Panthers” and other Black Power images force the audience to rethink the hegemonic history of race, gender, and power.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

18-5-2020 12:00 AM

End Date

22-5-2020 12:00 AM

Department

Communication Studies, Visual Rhetoric

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Keywords

Black Power Imagery, Black Power, Resistive Memory-making, visual rhetoric

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Included in

Communication Commons

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May 18th, 12:00 AM May 22nd, 12:00 AM

Black Power Imagery as Resistive Memory-making

The “Four Black Panthers” is a photograph of Assata Shakur (middle left), Dhoruba bin-Wahad (far left), and two other unknown individuals (middle and far right) that was found attached to the essay Assata Shakur, Excluding the Nightmare After the Dream by bin-Wahad. “Four Black Panthers” is a part of a rich genre of Black Power Era imagery that attempts to portray the collective memory of Black communities and to articulate an alternative history that challenges the hegemonic narrative put-forth in the U.S. The narrative of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is that peaceful, non-violence made the movement. Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy is glorified to drive the idea that disruptive militancy is illegitimate and ineffective, despite militant forms of protest being a norm before the 1950s and readopted by the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. In this study, Mookherjee’s (2018) concept of memory-making as a resistive process supported by other Black Power images is used to analyze how “Four Black Panthers” functions to tell hidden histories and challenges hegemonic narratives. There are three main ways in which “Four Black Panthers” challenges the hegemonic narrative: the symbolism of the Black Panther Party (BPP) uniform, the co-opting of mainstream media, and the use of armed propaganda. Through the heavy symbolic meaning attached to BPP uniforms, the co-opting of mainstream media, and the use of armed propaganda “Four Black Panthers” and other Black Power images force the audience to rethink the hegemonic history of race, gender, and power.

 

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