Teenie Harris Shows Penmanship Pays

THE DAILY PIC: Back in 1961, protestors knew how to make signs that commanded respect.


THE DAILY PIC: This is from the amazing archive of photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, now held at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. The photo is on the museum wall in a sampling of Harris’s Civil Rights shots, and represents a moment in 1961 when Pittsburgh’s blacks demanded the most basic employment equality. People always comment on how carefully and formally dressed protestors were back then, but I’m especially struck by the care that they took with their signage, all beautifully hand-lettered by a pro. At Zuccotti Park, as I discovered, the Occupy-ers deliberately kept their signs crude, as an anti-corporate gesture. I wonder if the 99% per cent wouldn’t do better by using The Man’s slickness against Him. It seems to have worked for the MLK generation. (Heinz Family Fund; © Carnegie Museum of Art)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

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