Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

Propaganda is used to mobilize people in times of war. Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster presents 33 posters, most targeting Africans and African-American civilians in times of war. These carefully designed works of art were aimed at mobilizing people of color in war efforts, even as they faced oppression and injustice in their homelands. Witness changing messages on race and politics through propaganda from the American Civil War to the African Independence movement in this innovative, world-premiere exhibition on display through March 2nd, 2014.

Tukufu Zuberi, the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, curates the exhibition, providing his perspective on more than 200 years of African and African American military history, told through his private collection of propaganda posters. Zuberi is also one of the hosts of the PBS series History Detectives.

Recently, Friday Arts spoke with, and toured the exhibit with Dr. Zuberi, to find out what makes this unique collection of works so special. We also talked with one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, Dr. Eugene Richardson, who gave his perspective on one of the posters featuring a Tuskegee Airman.

Learn more about the Tuskegee Airmen from Dr. Eugene Richardson and Dr. Tukufu Zuberi in this video edited by Lisa Levonian.

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