They were BLACK.
They were LOUD.
They were PROUD.
They were BOLD.
They were COOL.
They were BEAUTIFUL.
They had BRAINS.
They had BRAWN.
They had HEART.
They had GRIT.
They had GUTS.
They had GUNS.
Of course they were SCARY.
Not because they were RADICALISED.
Not because they were POLITICISED.
But because they were ORGANISED.
Because they CAME.
Because they CONFRONTED.
Because they CARED.
They were a living nightmare, to haunt
white racist supremacists everywhere.
And a revolutionary cause for celebration
for everyone else.
Founded in late October of 1966 they were
the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
All Power to the People!
© Jon Daniel
As MP’s go, Bernie Grant was about as right (morally, not politically) and honorable as they get.
A leonine politician who fought tirelessly for his constituents, and who represented people from the African diaspora with pride.
I remember hearing that his organisation, ARM (African Reparations Movement) were looking to protest to the British Museum for the return of precious artefacts and treasures that were stolen from Benin and held in their possession.
I was working as an Art Director in mainstream advertising at that time at an agency called Ammirati Puris Lintas and felt I could make a positive creative contribution to their cause.
So I contacted their offices and proposed an idea that I believed would help to provide the necessary visual dramatisation of their protest and in turn help draw attention and pr interest.
The resulting concept was an enlarged print of a classic ‘Repossession Order’, as usually sent by bailiffs, but in this case delivered by Bernie and other ARM representatives to the Director of the British Museum on 15th March 1997.
I know Bernie was extremely pleased with the result and as a ‘thank you’, invited me to take tea with him at the House of Commons. An invitation, I never got round to taking up and that I sincerely regret to this day.