Celebrate People's History: Annie Diggs

Emi Gennis
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
March 2017
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
This is a blue, tan, and cream poster of a portrait of a woman with a title "Annie Diggs" over it. There are leaves around her. There is text beneath the portrait reads: “It has been said that the biggest man in the Populist party of Kansas today is a woman,” wrote the Leavenworth Times in 1900. Annie Diggs became interested in the Populist movement in the 1870s through her involvement with the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. By 1882, she and her husband had begun publishing the Kansas Liberal from their home. Their paper criticized an economic and political system run by a small wealthy class, demanding rights for laborers and farmers. Throughout her career, Diggs became a respected journalist and orator. She held leadership positions in several local and national organizations, including the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, National Populist Committee, Social Reform Union, and Kansas Women’s Press Association. Her political influence let opponents to criticize her “petticoat politics.” In 1898, she became the first woman to serve as Kansas State Librarian. In her later years, Diggs retired from politics to focus on writing, publishing two books before her death in 1916.”
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.