Celebrate People's History: IWW Local 8

Artwork
Identifier:
2020.23.23
Related artists
Peter Cole
Marc Nelson
Credit:
GVSU Collection
Medium:
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
Date:
May 2007
Dimensions:
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
Description:
A black, white, gray, and blue poster that has a title at the top that says "I.W.W. Local 8". There are workers at the bottom of the image and there is a building at the top right. There is text in black above the workers that reads, “In 1913 thousands of Philadelphia longshoremen formed the nation’s most progressive union. Local 8 welcomed African Americans, Irish Americans, Poles, Lithuanians, West Indians and others. The dockers proudly belonged to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which is that rare institution that both advocates with practices equality. Alas, such radicalism got Local 8 into trouble with employers and the government, which arrested its leaders, fomented racial tensions and locked out the unionists. The legacy of Local 8, nevertheless, lives on.”
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.