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Finally Got the News uncovers the hidden legacy of the radical left of the 1970s, a decade when vibrant social movements challenged racism, imperialism, patriarchy, and capitalism itself. It uses original printed materials--from pamphlets to posters, flyers to record albums--to tell this politically rich and little-known story.
The dawn of the 1970s saw an explosion of interest in revolutionary ideas and activism. Young people radicalized by the antiwar movement became anti-imperialists, veterans of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements increasingly identified with communism and Pan-Africanism, radical groups sent members into factories to organize the working class, and women were building for autonomy and liberation. Across movements with different roots, an incredible overlap and intermingling of activists, ideologies, and hybrid organizations emerged.
These diverse movements used printed materials as organizing tools in every political activity, creating a remarkable array of publishing styles, techniques, and formats. Through the lens of printed materials we can see the real nuts and bolts of political organizing in an era when thousands of young revolutionaries were attempting to put their beliefs into practices in workplaces and neighborhoods across the US.
Finally Got the News uses this agitational material to shine a light on the full breadth of organizations and collectives that were a part of the '70s radical renaissance. The book features original materials from Amiri Baraka's Congress of African People, radical broadsides distributed in factories, queer socialist pamphlets, and agitational newspapers from Puerto Rican revolutionary groups like the Young Lords Party.
These materials were made to be ephemeral and disposable, making collecting and preserving the paper legacy of '70s radical activism especially difficult. But many materials have survived and offer an irreplaceable insight into this period. Finally Got the News highlights many essential issues that are still resoundingly contemporary: from community responses to police brutality, to battles for better wages and working conditions, to opposition to US imperialism in the Middle East. Radical movements of the '70s attempted to confront concerns that are still central to today's campaigns for social justice.
The full-color book that accompanies the exhibition will collect almost 100 images of materials included in the show, original essays by 14 contributors, and a round table discussion amongst a broad collection of producers of propaganda in the 1970s. The majority of this exhibition is from the archive of Brad Duncan, amassed over twenty years of collecting and activism. Additional items are from the collection of Interference Archive.