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Unknown Photographer

Undercover agents Israel Fields and Melvin Howard discuss their ordeal with the Black Panthers after their identities were discovered, September 19, 1970
Vintage wire photograph on paper
9 9/16 x 5 15/16 in. (24.29 x 15.08 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.1070

Undercover Agents Tried by Panthers: Undercover agents of the New Orleans Police Department, Israel Fields (right) and Melvin Howard, discuss their ordeal with the Black Panthers after their identities were discovered. The two officers were beaten and given a mock trial before they managed to escape.

The Peoples Party II was a Houston-based Black revolutionary group modeled after the Black Panther Party. Founder and Chairman Carl Hampton would eventually be killed during a shootout with the Houston Police Department at the party’s Dowling Street headquarters in July of 1970. Out of the Dowling shootout, the “Black Coalition” was formed. The Coalition consisted of mainstream Black organizations responding to the violence against black people committed by the Houston Police Department. The Coalition urged a boycott of businesses downtown, which would ultimately fail due to poor organization. The Peoples Party II was part of the Rainbow Coalition, which was composed of the Peoples Party II, the John Brown Revolutionary League, and the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO).

On verso: manuscript title and date, date stamp, newspaper stamp and typewritten label with title and date affixed.

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 9 9/16 x 5 15/16 in. (24.29 x 15.08 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 10 5/16 x 6 11/16 in. (26.19 x 16.99 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

Your current search criteria is: Keyword is "PZT".

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