National March for Justice -- 1987 [Poster
1987. 11" x 17". Original illustrated poster, offset printed in black on white stockNEAR FINE. Modest wear; there is a faint circular sticker residue to lower right corner. minor wrinkling to the edegs. UNCOMMON.
Poster promoting the July 4th National March for Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which drew attention to the plight of Johnny "Imani" Harris of Birmingham. On August 19, 1970, Harris was arrested on his way to work, forced into a line-up, and coerced into a confession for four robberies and the rape of a white teenager, despite supplying a list of alibi witnesses. He was sentenced to five consecutive life terms and sent to Atmore-Holman prison near Mobile". While imprisoned, he assumed the Swahili name "Imani" (Faith) and joined a prison union called Inmates for Action. The unionized prisoners, both black and white, stagged a 100% effective stoppage of forced labor, which left acres of sugar cane rotting in the fields. After a 1974 prison uprising, Harris was framed for the death of a guard name Luell Wheeler Barlow, resulting in his being automatically sentenced to death under a pre-Civil War statute. By the mid-1980's, former law professor and civil rights leader Angela Davis was leading the fight for Harris's exoneration. The National March for Justice, staged on Independence Day, 1987, drew roughly 300 people in 90-degree heat, who marched on the Alabama Capitol in protest. Harris was finally released in 1991.