A Black Panther 55th Anniversary Retrospective Multimedia Exhibit
Art | Power | Community (APC) is an outgrowth of the OCS Project’s participation in the October 2021 commemorative events in Oakland, CA, that marked the 55th anniversary of the Black Panther Party (BPP) for Self-Defense that was founded in 1966 by Bobby Seale and the late Huey P. Newton. Art was a central component of all events and the events were held in community spaces that were central to BPP history across the decades. APC is a platform to showcase the ways in which expression art and community can both reflect and bring community together.
UC Irvine’s Black Panther Oakland Community School Community Archives, Activism, and Storytelling Research Cluster (BPOCSRC) formed in Spring 2021 to advance research, teaching, and learning about the Black Panther Party’s survival programs through public programs, exhibitions, community archives, and digital project development towards the release of a film documentary about the Oakland Community School and the creation of an OCS Digital Humanties project called The OCS Yearbook. To support this mission, to date the research cluster has hired ten UCI grad and undergrad students as well as trained and directed the archival work of an additional 10 UCI undergraduate interns in classroom settings and internships since Spring 2021.
Photographer Micherlange Francois Hemsley's Black Panther Party 55th Anniversary Retrospective photographs were exhibited in four locations during 2022: The U.C. Irvine Southeast Asian Archives (May 4 - June 30), the Data Viz Wall of the UCI Science Library, the Juneteenth Irvine Celebration (June 19th), the University of California Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library (November 1 - December 17). The UC Irvine grand opening was preceded by an artist interview by Evelynn Cuautle and the UC Irvine and UC Berkeley Exhibits were accompanied by virtual panels featuring former BPP artists in conversation with Francois-Hemsley.