Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Celebrate People's History

Check out this great new book which I am honored to be included in. "Celebrate People's History" is edited by artist and activist Josh MacPhee and is published by the Feminist Press at the City University of New York.

"110 posters by over eighty artists pay tribute to revolution, racial justice, women’s rights, queer liberation, labor struggles, and creative activism and organizing. Celebrate People’s History!presents these essential moments—acts of resistance and great events in an often hidden history of human and civil rights struggles—as a visual tour through decades and across continents, from the perspective of some of the most interesting and socially engaged artists working today.” — Josh MacPhee

Here is the poster I made for the book. It's a spraypaint stencil titled "The Amazon Army." The text that's at the bottom of the poster is reproduced below.

On December 11, 1921, propelled by the need to feed their children and outraged at Kansas’s new anti-labor legislation, a crowd of more than 500 women gathered in Franklin, Kansas and resolved to march in solidarity with miners striking at union District 14 coal mines. The strike was called in response to the new Industrial Court Law signed by Kansas Governor Allen, which forced unions into arbitration and outlawed strikes. On December 12th, the women began their march on the mines, armed only with the American flag, which they carried to make clear that the values it symbolized were synonymous to those of their cause.

By December 15th, the march had swelled to more than 4,000 stretching over a mile long. With the mines at a stand still, word spread that the militia was en route, and the women, dubbed the “Amazon Army” by the New York Times, voluntarily chose to end their march in the hopes of preventing bloodshed. Victory for the marchers and their striking coal miners came the following year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the compulsory arbitration clause of the Industrial Court Law was unconstitutional. Workers still had the right to strike.


memrylane said...

Am interested in this poster and visiting with you. The tiny town of Franklin, Kansas which was the beginning of the ladies' march was destroyed by a tornado in 2003. We formed a non-profit and work tirelessly to this day to rebuild the community. What a surprise when I came across this on the internet. Please visit our website where you can read more about the Amazon ladies and I'd love for you to contact us directly at Thank you. Our website is

Rachel said...

Hello Dave, what a great image! I work at the Lawrence Public Library, and we've invited a speaker to come talk about the Amazon Army next week. I would love to use this image on a small flier that we could post at the library to announce the event. Could we have permission to use it as long as we attribute you? You can reach me at rsmalterhall [at], and thanks much for your consideration.