New York City, NY
Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., describes himself as a “humble Negro printer.” Letterpress posters are Kennedy’s primary medium, and he often uses them as a means to distribute messages and aphorisms related to social justice issues, especially the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. In the poster series Quotations of Rosa Louise Parks, which he has produced over the last decade, Kennedy isolates statements by Parks that reflect her motivations and sensibility as a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement, particularly in her iconic role fighting against bus segregation in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama.
The posters graphically transmit the voice of this American hero and pay homage to her acts of resistance. Kennedy’s Church Fans bear the names of 134 individuals killed while working for civil rights in the United States from 1946 to 1968. Printing the names on fans similar to those distributed in Southern churches during a hot summer service, Kennedy memorializes and venerates the individuals who sacrificed their lives in the fight against racial segregation, disenfranchisement, and economic inequality in this country.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.