University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Past Special Exhibition at the Penn Museum

Black Bodies in Propaganda was open from June 2, 2013 through March 2, 2014

Propaganda is used to mobilize people in times of war. Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster presents 33 posters, most targeting Africans and African-American civilians in times of war. These carefully designed works of art were aimed at mobilizing people of color in war efforts, even as they faced oppression and injustice in their homelands. Witness changing messages on race and politics through propaganda from the American Civil War to the African Independence movement in this innovative, world-premiere exhibition.

Tukufu Zuberi, the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, curates the exhibition, providing his perspective on more than 200 years of African and African American military history, told through his private collection of propaganda posters.

In addition to the posters, the exhibition features three objects from the Penn Museum’s African Collection. Additionally, a touchscreen interactive to explore some of the posters’ distinctive iconography, archival military recruitment films, and a related segment from PBS’ History Detectives enrich the exhibition.

Click the image of Dr. Zuberi below to hear about why this collection of posters is a must-see.

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