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When the slave of imperialism...

  • 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 Y, shelf 66, box E

For the artist Emory Douglas, using pigs to parody police and government officials was an important symbolic device. Though the cartoon style was light-hearted and comical, it was also designed as bitter provocation, baiting the sometimes brutal forces of law enforcement and imperialism.
The following quote is extracted from an interview with Douglas that featured in the book 'This Side of Glory' by David Hilliard and Lewis Cole (Boston: Little & Brown, 1993. page 151):
"...One day Huey [Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party] got an idea about the police. We had started calling the police swine because of the nature of their character - they had the most beastly character; dirty and filthy, abusing people and what have you. So Huey gets a picture of a pig and says he wants to put that in the paper - just on the front page - and put the badge of this policeman, who was in Oakland and who had been murdering and harassing people in the community. But from my learning in art school I saw a way of carrying things a step further, improving on it. I said, 'My man, why don't we dress them up, like humans, and stand them up?'
"And that's what I did. We put the cops on their feet and showed them running--bullets coming at them and them running. I think that captivated the attention...."

Physical description

A crying pig, symbolising Imperialism, is being cut down by a black hand wielding an axe.

Place of Origin

United States (made)


1970 (made)


Douglas, Emory (artist)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

artist's signature

"When the slave of imperialism who lives inside the house of imperialism picks up guns against the imperialists to make common cause with the revolutionary peoples of the whole world, we know the days of the imperialist are numbered."


Height: 57.2 cm, Width: 44.4 cm

Descriptive line

Black Panther Party anti-imperialist poster by Emory Douglas. USA, 1970

Production Note

distributed and posted in New Haven, Connecticut in April 1970


Paper; Ink

Subjects depicted

Imperialism; Violence; Politics; Radicalism; Race (concept); Pig; Hands; Axe; Propaganda


Prints; Propaganda; Black History; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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