Celebrate People's History: Assata Shakur is Free

Artwork
Identifier:
2020.23.44
Related artists
Laura Whitehorn
Molly Fair
Credit:
GVSU Collection
Medium:
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
Date:
May 2010
Dimensions:
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
Description:
A black, white, and brown poster with a woman smiling on it. The title, "November 2, 1979 Assata Shakur is Free" is above her in white text. Below her on the left are two paragraphs of text and then three images of men. The text reads: “Targeted by law enforcement as the “soul” of the militant Black liberation movement, accused (and acquitted) of participating in a slew of bank robberies, Assata Shakur was imprisoned in New Jersey following her 1973 arrest. Assata’s co-defendant Sundiata Acoli, previously one of the Panther 21, remains in prison serving a sentence of life plus 30 years. A third comrade, Zayd Shakur, was killed by the police during the 1973 arrest. In 1979, Assata escaped from prison. “In 1982, radicals from the Black liberation and white anti-imperialist movements were indicted for allegedly helping Assata escape. Sekou Odinga and Mutulu Shakur remain in prison today. In 1984, Assata surfaced in Cuba and received political asylum. She is a beacon of hope and power for the international movements for Black liberation and to free all U.S.-held political prisoners.”
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.