Detroit: Broadside Press, 1967. First Edition. Broadside, approx. 6-1/2 X 11-1/2 in., printed on one side. Fine. Item #205922
Brooks's second broadside for Dudley Randall's Broadside Press celebrating the "Wall of Respect" in Chicago. Brooks read the poem at the dedication ceremony in August of 1967. A collective effort informally led by artist William Walker, the "Wall of Respect" was the "first and certainly the most influential Black Arts and Black Power mural of the 1960s and 1970s" (Smethurst p. 213) It depicted a range of African-American heroes, historical and contemporary, including such figures as Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, Muhammad Ali, Aretha Franklin, and even Brooks herself. It inspired a proliferation of community-oriented murals across the country and became a model for activist street-art. The mural itself survived only four years until its building was torn down following a fire. The broadside was published in December of 1967 and the poem was subsequently included in her collection In the Mecca (1968).