• We've Been Here Before

    From Montgomery to Selma and The March on Washington, to the Panthers right here in Oakland, CA. We’ve been here before. The generations of Martin, Malcom, Rosa, Bobby, and Huey created the playbook on peaceful protests, civil disobedience, sit-ins, boycotts, and everything in-between.

    Though technology has evolved the tools of protest that our generation has at its disposal, some remain the same: marching, protesting, kneeling, silence, hand-written signs. And in this case, the humble but powerful Protest Pin.

  • The Past Guides The Present

    Call it a Protest Pin, a A Freedom Pin, or a Protest or Cause Button, this tool has been at the forefront of movements since the late 19th century, and was instrumental during the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s.

    “Though they were cheap to make, the price of wearing a freedom pin could be high. In many places throughout the South, wearing a civil rights emblem in public irrevocably marked you for good or ill. For local Afro-Americans, wearing a pin in public was an act of defiance, courage, and commitment that put you at risk of ostracism, economic retaliation, and violence.” - Civil Rights Movement Archive

    As a black designer, I’ve always been struck by the simplicity, beauty, and strength of Civil Rights Movement pins. The bold, headlined typography and the contrast of black and white color schemes created a uniform for protestors, activists, and allies to wear loud and proud.

    These pins serve as staunch statements of belief, an attack on oppression and oppressors, and an invitation to conversation. Wearing them announces to strangers what you stand for, and who you stand with. Now again, we are at a place where protest is our only remedy, and where we are being asked to pick sides. For Black America, “you either with me or against me.”

    Pinned Protest is a small but hopefully meaningful contribution to the cause of Justice, Freedom, and Liberation for Black people. I hope that you find a truth worth wearing from the selection here, and I hope, as soon as possible, that there will no longer be a need for this. We’ve had enough.


  • Credit and References

    Photograph of protest: 
    Khristopher Sandifer, @iamsquint

    Text and design references:

    1. Civil Rights Movement Archive

    2. CORE: Congress on Racial Equality
    3. Kirby Jean-Raymond / Pyer Moss, "American, Also."

    *If you recognize the work of another designer, artist, writer, or anyone that should be credited for something, please contact me and I'll credit appropriately. 

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