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Unknown Photographer

Black Panther Chief of Staff David Hilliard leaving the Federal Building in San Francisco, May 4, 1971
Vintage wire photograph on paper
4 15/16 x 2 1/2 in. (12.54 x 6.35 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: P2021.13.1071

A federal judge dismissed the indictment charging Black Panther Chief of Staff David Hilliard with threatening the life of President Nixon in a 1969 speech at a rally. Hilliard is shown leaving the Federal Building in San Francisco.

David Hilliard (b. May 1942) is a former member of the Black Panther Party---having served as Chief of Staff---and the founder of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation. Hilliard became involved in the Black Panther movement in 1966 while living in Oakland, California. Hilliard's childhood friend, Huey P. Newton, told him about the Panthers, which he founded with Bobby Seale. After Newton's arrest on October 28, 1967 for an armed scuffle with the Oakland Police that resulted in the death of Officer John Frey, Hilliard became interim leader of the Black Panthers. He helped organize a rally in February 1968 called the "Free Huey Rally" that drew 6,000 people. Hilliard was involved in the many "survival" programs organized by the Black Panthers, including breakfast programs for school children, health clinics, and programs for prisoners. Hilliard also helped organize a community learning center, after school programs, and escorts to protect the elderly.

Associated Press ID #7105041110

On verso: typewritten title and date stamp.

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: 4 15/16 x 2 1/2 in. (12.54 x 6.35 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 4 7/16 in. (13.65 x 11.27 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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