Alfredo Rostgaard, Black Power, 1968
Cuban graphic designer Alfredo Rostgaard (1943-2004) worked with numerous agencies to create political posters that emphasized revolutionary efforts, social justice, and global solidarity. Black Power was produced for the Organization of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL), where Rostgaard served as artistic director. A non-governmental organization, OSPAAAL included eighty-two Asian, Latin American, and African countries at its inaugural conference, held in Havana in January, 1966. Until 1990, OSPAAAL circulated Tricontinental magazine, which included color political posters in most issues.
In this poster, Rostgaard expresses solidarity with the Black Power movement, foregrounding a roaring, red-eyed panther. Distributed in the U.S., the poster was later re-purposed by the Black Panther Party, who as part of the campaign for Huey Newton’s release from prison, included a photograph of Newton in the panther’s jaws. On their end, OSPAAAL often featured prints by Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party Minister of Culture and designer of The Black Panther publication, in Tricontinental. Rostgaard’s work demonstrates the productive exchange that animated protest movements’ interconnected visual programs—particularly in the sixties and seventies.
On the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, we have published a poster that is now being circulated all over the world. We are sending you herewith a certain amount of these posters, which may be used in your country for the activities to be carried out in this regard.OSPAAAL mimeographed message accompanying mailings of Black Power poster
Auther, Elissa and Adam Lerner. West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965–1977. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
Camnitzer, Luis. New Art of Cuba. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003.
Cushing, Lincoln. ¡Revolución! Cuban Poster Art. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2003.
Images of a variety of OSPAAAL posters displayed at Kemistry Gallery in 2009 are available through The Guardian.
The Online Archive of California has a Finding Aid for the OSPAAAL Poster Collection held in Special Collections at the University of California, Irvine.
Check out other posters in the NMAAHC collection.