Celebrate People's History: Battle of Blair Mountain

Chris Stain
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
March 2007
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
A black, white, and red poster where the title is on a red strip at the top, and then there is text below on a white background. At the bottom of the image there is a group of male soldiers.Title is “The Battle of Blair Mountain" Text below title reads: “After years of inhumane living and working conditions, in 1921 the coal miners of Appalachia answered the call to organize. The largest armed uprising in US labor history, twelve thousand workers from West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio flooded Kanawha County, West Virginia, to set up a union by force. Vehemently anti-union, a local sheriff and the coal companies attacked the miners. Thousands of armed and angry miners rushed into the lush hills and winding paths of Blair Mountain to fight for the union. Federal troops were called in the miners dispersed in order to avoid further bloodshed. At the time the struggle was seen as a failure, but in retrospect the Battle of Blair Mountain led directly to a much larger and stronger union movement.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.