Yesterday’s Top Lots: African Americana

Our 16th annual Printed & Manuscript African Americana auction was the most successful to date. The top lot, which sold for $43,200, was Charles Harris Wesley’s published and unpublished writings, correspondence, photographs, albums, pamphlets and ephemera, in an archive of 35 cartons of material. Wesley was a noted historian, scholar, educator, minister, and writer, a graduate of Fisk University who earned his Masters degree from Yale, his PhD from Harvard, and went on to teach at Howard University among other esteemed institutions.
Father Divine, “God, Righteousness, Justice, Peace, Truth…,” large handmade banner. Sold for $36,000 (including premium).
 
A large, handmade banner by Father Divine, one of the first 20th-century cult religious leaders, brought $36,000, which is a record price for any item related to Divine. 
 
The Black Panthers section of the sale drew much interest, particularly the posters offered. A poster of Huey Newton reading “The racist dog policemen must withdraw immediately from our communities,” and depicting the Panther Minister of Defense holding a rifle, sold for a record $19,200.
Clockwise from top left: Huey Newton, “The racist dog policemen…,” 1968. Sold for $19,200. Emory Douglas, “Free Bobby, Free Ericka…,” circa 1970. Sold for $8,400. Fred Hampton, “When One of us Falls…,” circa 1969. Sold for $9,600. “DOWN with the WHITE-NESS,” late 1960s. Sold for $18,000.