I Am Somebody
Herb Bruce (American, active 20th century)
DimensionsSheet : 24 x 36 in. (60.96 x 91.44 cm)
Mat : 32 x 40 in. (81.28 cm x 1 m)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelThe title and text inscribed on this poster derive from a poem written in the 1950s by Civil Rights activist Rev. William Holmes Borders, Sr. (1905-1993). That poem championing the dignity of the poor and affirming the intrinsic beauty and value of African Americans was adopted by the Civil Rights and Black Pride movements during the 1970s and 80s. This poster was designed for Grafica Studios in Chicago by African American artist Herb Bruce. Though little known today, Bruce was an illustrator and graphic designer whose work seems to have been inspired by AfriCobra, a radical African American artists’ collective formed in 1968 to promote Black pride and culture. The poster was printed with special inks that fluoresce in ultraviolet light. These fluorescent inks were originally developed by the Day-Glo Color Corporation for use by the US military but were adopted in the 1960s by artists associated with various counter-culture movements, including the Civil Rights movement.