Thursday, February 26, 2015
Poster of the Week & 2 Mysteries
Northern Sun Merchandising
I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don't think it will be based on the colour of the skin... Malcolm X
CSPG’s Poster of the Week commemorates the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X. On February 21, 1965, he was murdered at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, while giving a talk before 400 people. The Nation of Islam and the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro), are generally held as responsible. Cointelpro infiltrated many oppositional movements, including the Civil Rights Movement, Black Panther Party, American Indian Movement, and the Nation of Islam to which Malcolm X belonged for 12 years. Malcolm X rejected the separation of blacks and whites preached by the Nation of Islam after taking a pilgrimage to Mecca in April 1964, where he saw Muslims of "all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans" interacting as equals. The statement on this poster came after that transformative experience.
Over the years this poster has been reproduced by different groups. It was first produced in the 1970s as a black and white litho by the Poster-Film Collective in London (thus the poster has the British spelling of colour), and then by the Black Liberation Press. In the 1980s, it was produced by Northland Sun Merchandising, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2 MYSTERY QUESTIONS
1. When did Malcolm X say this? In Malcolm x Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements. Edited by George Breitman, Merit Publishers, NY, 1965, pg 232, it states that Malcolm said this during an interview on Pierre Berton’s radio show, “The Front Page Challenge,” January 19, 1965, recorded in Toronto, Canada. At least part of this interview can be seen on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOQzvrgYgCE. During the interview, Malcolm X talks about similar things, and says “By Any Means Necessary,” but the statement on the poster is not included. A transcript of the same interview can be found on http://www.malcolm-x.org/docs/int_pbert.htm but it contains things not on the youtube interview—and some things in the interview are not in the transcript. Malcolm X was assassinated one month after the interview.
Thank you to Walter Lippmann for finding the Youtube interview and transcripts.
2. We are looking for any information about Black Liberation Press. CSPG has just two posters by them, a version of the Malcolm X poster featured above, and “From Sharpeville to Soweto” circa 1980s. We have no idea who started it, when, where they were located, how long they lasted or if they produced other posters.