Item #6779 A Black Festival [Panther 21, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp]

A Black Festival [Panther 21, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp]

New York: Cal Massey & the Committee to Defend the Panther 21, 1970. Offset on orange stock. 8 1/2 x 10 ¾ in. Light wear to top edge of sheet, and light bumping to bottom left corner; else near fine. Item #6779

Flyer promoting a benefit festival for the New York Panther 21, bringing together sa wide array of artists and musicians, including Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Rashied Ali, Cal Massey, Sonny Red, Cedar Walton, Eddie Gale, Jackie McLean, Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Louis Hayes, and Junior Cook.

In 1969, twenty-one members of the Black Panther Party in New York were wrongfully arrested for allegedly planning to bomb and assault two police stations and an education office. The group included Sundiata Acoli, Michael “Cetawayo” Tabor, Afeni Shakur, and Dhoruba bin-Wahad, and bail for each was set astronomically high, guaranteeing their continued imprisonment. Assata Shakur later remarked “it was well known by everybody in the movement that the New York police had kidnapped the most experienced, able, and intelligent leaders of the New York branch and demanded $100,000 ransom for each one.”

In 1971, following two years of intense public pressure and campaigning from the Committee to Defend the Panther 21, all of the accused were acquitted by the jury following revelations that police infiltrators played the leading roles in the allegedly insurrectionary activities. Many of these revelations came when Afeni Shakur, mother of Tupac Shakur, cross-examined one of the infiltrators, and compelled him to reveal that he himself had planned the alleged crimes.

An extraordinary and historic document of collaboration among avant-garde black musicians in solidarity with efforts against state terror.