All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area

All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area
Available as an e-book only.
ISBN: 9781597142700.

By Lincoln Cushing

This long-awaited catalog of political posters pays homage to an influential and populist art movement that has created some of the most enduring imagery of our time. In All of Us or None, author Lincoln Cushing examines key selections from a remarkable archive of over 24,000 posters amassed by free speech movement activist, author, and educator Michael Rossman over the course of thirty years. This inspiring collection of Bay Area posters illuminates the history of this ad-hoc and ephemeral art form, celebrating its unique capacity to infuse contemporary issues with the urgency and energy of the eternal fight for justice.

Featuring posters on topics as diverse as civil rights, war, poverty, the environment, music, women’s liberation, fine art, and gentrification, All of Us or None shows us why the Bay Area was such fertile breeding ground for the genre and why it arguably produced more independent political posters than anywhere else on earth. Here is an exhilarating history of artists, studios, printshops, distributors, activists, icons, and changemakers—among them R. Crumb, Stanley Mouse, Cesar Chavez, Max Scherr, Emory Douglas, Angela Davis, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Bill Graham, and Pete Seeger—together raising their voices in opposition to the status quo.

In spring of 2012, the Oakland Museum of California will present its first comprehensive exhibition of this recently acquired treasure; the show, along with this book, presents an unbroken narrative of passionate social justice printmaking from the mid-1960s to the present.


''Lincoln Cushing offers us just the inspiration we need as we struggle against injustice and hope for real change this time around.'' Lucy R. Lippard, writer and activist
''All of Us or None is an extremely remarkable and useful book: remarkable because it brings back so many of the memorable images of rebellion political, cultural, and both together from a past now rapidly receding, and useful because in our new era of protest, creative expression in artistic forms is more badly needed than ever. Lincoln Cushing, a distinguished scholar of political art, has given us a small masterpiece.'' Paul Buhle, publisher of the SDS magazine Radical America and author of more than forty books on radical politics and culture
''The paladin of political posters, Lincoln Cushing, has done us a great service. The 60s poster craze allowed the distribution of underground comix and other social justice publications as they piggybacked the early distribution of counterculture thought. Posters screamed our wants, hopes, and fears from our walls. They were a movement s thought balloons, a visual and moral vaccine against the evils of society.'' Ron Turner, founder of counterculture publisher Last Gasp
''Lincoln Cushing's All of Us or None perfectly captures Michael Rossman's legendary social justice poster collection. The scope of Rossman's archive is breathtaking, and Cushing, the leading analyst of political posters of our time, brilliantly uses the artwork to bring social movements to life.'' Randy Shaw, author of Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the Struggle for Justice in the Twenty-First Century
''The poster--public art at its best--is all about advocacy. It is the voice of the voiceless. The clenched upraised fist, Che Guevara, the peace symbol...political posters simultaneously draw from a common iconography and contribute to it.'' David Lance Goines, artist, printer, and author of The Free Speech Movement: Coming of Age in the 1960s
''This engaging catalogue surveys nearly 300 of the late Michael Rossman's enormous collection of over 24,000 San Francisco Bay Area social justice posters. Though the entire archive of the longtime Free Speech movement activist's prints are housed in the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Cushing discusses highlights spanning the past 50 years. Screenprints like Lewis Suzuki's 'No More Hiroshimas, No More War' (1963) set the stage for a 'domestic political poster renaissance' that echoed the flowering of a broader protest culture after 1965. With fluid, highly accessible prose, Cushing traces the lineage of images that have now become iconic, such as Frank Cieciorka's often quoted clenched fist, or the Black Panther Party's panther symbol as rendered by Emory Douglas and others. The catalogue also includes posters for countercultural musical and literary events like 1967's Human Be-In, which featured Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Jerry Ruben, and 'all San Francisco rock groups,' or the many various performances of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. As the more monolithic concerns of the New Left diversified into calls for Women's, Latino, Asian-American, African-American, Disability, LGBT, and Native American rights, so developed a subsequent generation of provocative images. Recent examples, such as Jesus Barraza's 'Banging on the System'--which proclaims solidarity with Wisconsinite workers--show that despite the proliferation of social media and online communication, these tangible artworks 'still have a place in this world,' so long as the 'underlying problems' persist. Illus.'' Publishers Weekly
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About the Author

Lincoln Cushing

Lincoln Cushing

Lincoln Cushing has at various times been a printer, artist, librarian, archivist, and author. His books include Revolución!: Cuban Poster Art and Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Formerly he was the Cataloging and Electronic Outreach Librarian at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library and he is currently an archivist for Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources. He is involved in numerous efforts to document, catalog, and disseminate oppositional political culture of the late twentieth century.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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