From 1967 through the 1980s, Emory Douglas was the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, the revolutionary social justice and political organization founded in Oakland, California. Douglas was the art director, designer, and primary artist for The Black Panther Newsletter and created the iconic Black Panther flyers, handouts, and posters. (Learn more about his work in the video below.) Art historian, artist, and professor Colette Gaiter famously referred to Douglas as "the Norman Rockwell of the ghetto, concentrating on the poor and oppressed." His work is as relevant, and as necessary, right now as it was 50 years ago.
Now, Douglas has collaborated with Dutch streetwear brand Patta on a capsule collection of hoodies, jackets, t-shirts, and hats bearing his artwork.
From HighSnobiety's interview with Patta brand director Lee Stuart:
How did this collaboration even come about? What were some of the challenges?
I literally followed Emory Douglas on his tour of Amsterdam. With a little help from his chaperones, I approached him, introduced myself and the brand briefly, and got his email address. I emailed him with the request to collaborate on a capsule collection but he shut that down real quick. From the start, the Black Panthers have understood that to really be about equality, you have to be anti-capitalist. All forms of oppression and inequality are tools of our capitalist system. It seemed impossible. But I know our intentions are good, so we stayed persistent. Mr. Douglas got more familiar with our brand and our ethics through repeated emails but also with some help from our mutual friends. He made some ground rules clear and then we got permission to work with his catalog.