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Emory Douglas was born in 1943 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been a resident of the San Francisco California Bay Area since 1951. Douglas attended City College of San Francisco where he majored in commercial art. He was politically involved as Revolutionary Artist and then Minister of Culture for the Black Panther party, from February, 1967 until the Early 1980's. Douglas's art and design concepts were always seen on the front and back pages of the Black Panther Newspaper, reflecting the politics of the Black Panther Party and the concerns of the community.
Douglas's powerful visuals helped define the style of the group's newspapers, posters, and pamphlets. His bold illustrations and striking images spoke forcefully to a community ravaged by poverty, police brutality, and poor living conditions and portrayed a populace fighting to assert their rights to equality.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California curated an exhibit of Douglas' work entitled Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas in 2007-8 at the MOCA Pacific Design Center. He also exhibited at The Urbis Arts Museum in Manchester in 2009; in 2008 Biennale of Sydney, Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles California, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the African American Art & Cultural Complex, in San Francisco, California, amongst others.
The Black Panthers mission was to improve the lives of African Americans by calling for resistance and change, as well providing social services to their communities.