Chromolithograph poster, 15.5 x 19.625 in. (sight), framed, 17.75 x 21.625 in., "True Sons of Freedom." Chicago: Chas. Gustrine, 1918. Poster depicts a group of African American soldiers defeating a group of German soldiers in an intense World War I battle scene, with an American flag raised to the upper left, biplanes visible in the clouds, and a portrait of Abraham Lincoln featured to the upper right above a printed Lincoln quotation reading, "'Liberty And Freedom / Shall Not Perish' / A. Lincoln." Text printed to middle left reads, "COLORED MEN / The First Americans / Who Planted / Our Flag / on the / Firing Line / NEWS ITEM."
Gustrine's poster served as a call to action for African Americans during World War I. The words and images invoking the spirit of Abraham Lincoln and the struggle for freedom inherent in the Civil War promoted enlistment as a way for African Americans to, once again, step up as patriots, defend the cause of liberty, and earn the respect of their fellow countrymen. In all, over 350,000 African Americans served in the United State military during the first World War. Their sacrifices, however, were generally not acknowledged or appreciated on the same level as their white counterparts.
Provenance:Property from the Inventory of Rex Stark
Frame with moderate wear including paint loss, nicks, and paint transfer. Back of frame in rough condition. Poster with some spotting, and water damage to upper left.
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