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The Black Panther Manifesto

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    1970 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Douglas, Emory (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3G, shelf 6

The image in this poster refers specifically to the controversial Chicago Conspiracy Trial which got underway in September 1969. Eight men were charged with inciting anti-Vietnam War riots and conspiring against the U.S. government. Bobby Seale, Chairman of the militant Black Panther Party, was among the defendants. The trial commanded the attention of the nation, especially once the public learned that Seale was held bound and gagged in the court room. This cruel treatment led the Panther Party to publish their manifesto accompanied by the startling illustration of Seale in an electric chair. The poster's audience would immediately have drawn connections between the image and the legal case.

Physical description

Right-hand image of a black man (Black Panther Chairman Bobby Seale) restrained in an electric chair. Printed text outlining the group's manifesto.

Place of Origin

United States (made)


1970 (made)


Douglas, Emory (artist)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

The fascists have already decided in advance to murder Chairman Bobby Seale in the Electric Chair...


Height: 815 mm Sheet, Width: 580 mm Sheet

Descriptive line

The Black Panther Manifesto illustrated by Emory Douglas (USA, 1970).

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'The New Yorker' magazine. 9 September, 1972. page 50
'Prop Art'

Production Note

distributed and posted on the Yale University campus, New Haven, Connecticut in April 1970

Text by Eldridge Cleaver.


Paper; Ink

Subjects depicted

Propaganda; Activism; Politics; Electric chair; Racism; Racial discrimination; Man; Violence


Prints; Propaganda; Black History; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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