The Black Panthers - Photographs by Stephen Shames

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9781597110242: The Black Panthers - Photographs by Stephen Shames
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In 1966, as the largely nonviolent Civil Rights movement swept through America, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the legendary Black Panther Party in Oakland, California. Revered by some and vilified by others, the party burst onto the scene with a militant vision for social change and the empowerment of African-Americans. Its methods were so controversial and polarizing that in 1968, FBI head J. Edgar Hoover described the organization as the country's greatest threat to internal security. During the height of the movement, from 1967 to 1973, photographer Stephen Shames had unprecedented access to the organization. He captured not only its public face--street demonstrations, protests and militant armed posturing--but also life behind the scenes, from private Party meetings to Bobby Seale at work on his Oakland mayoral campaign. Shames was prolific and his archive of Panther images is the largest in the world, presenting an uncommonly nuanced portrait of this dynamic social movement. Released on the occasion of the Party's fortieth anniversary, this illuminating publication gathers an astonishing collection of never-before-published images, offering an electrifying visual history. Panther newspapers, posters and other ephemera help convey the ethos of the Panthers and of a transformative period of social upheaval for the whole nation.

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About the Author:

STEPHEN SHAMES was born in Brooklyn. He has published three books with Aperture (Pursuing the Dream, Outside the Dream, and Empower Zone - featuring photographs by teenagers he taught). His work is deeply engaged with social issues such as poverty and race, and he has worked in collaboration with numerous not-for-profit organizations and art museums. Shames's images are in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; University of California's Bancroft Library, Berkeley; San Jose Art Museum; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has received awards from Kodak (Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism), Leica, ICP, and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial (RFK Journalism Award). CHARLES E. JONES is the Chair of the African-American studies department at Georgia State University, Atlanta. He has written extensively on the Black Panthers and is the editor of The Black Panther Party [Reconsidered]. WILLIAM JENNINGS, a former Black Panther, edits It's About Time, a newsletter for former Panthers.

Review:

"Given enormous access to the party, Shames created a historic document of Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver and other Panther leaders in private moments and at public rallies. He also chronicled the party's legions of volunteers manning picket lines, demonstrating at their leaders' trials, serving breakfasts to school children and running free food programs." -- Holly Stuart Hughes --Photo District News

"The Black Panthers: Photographs by Stephen Shames, published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the founding of the party, is a modestly scaled but excellent survey of the Panthers' early years, combining powerful photographs with a sharp, efficient design (the majority of photos are printed to the edge of the page, unimpeded by text) to present a lucid portrayal of the urgency, pride and determination, as well the love, friendship and occasionally even fun, that drove the movement." -- Holly Myers --LA Weekly

"Photojournalist Stephen Shames met Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton through the anti-war movement in '67; in subsequent years, he captured the lives of Black Panther Party members in striking, time-capsule photos. His new book marks the 40th anniversary of the party's birth." --People Magazine

"Released on the occasion of The Black Panthers' 40th Anniversary, this book of photographs by Stephen Shames, who had access to the organisation during the height of the movement from 1967 to 1973, captures not only street demonstrations and protests but also behind-the-scenes moments." --HotShoe International

"Stephen Shames' powerful and poignant photographs cast a new light on the political party that helped define America in the turbulent 1960s... His book explores the multi-faceted strategy of the Black Panthers all too often obscured by a pre-occupation with aggressive confrontation and armed resistance." -- Beth Wicks --B&W (UK)

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