Poster History

Black History in WWII Propaganda Posters

vintage poster, Italian War vintage poster, American War

The contrast in these propaganda posters from WWII could not be more stark. Some of the most vitriolic racist posters of the war were created in Italy by the Fascist government to stiffen Italian resistance as the Allies began their invasion. Boccasile’s shocking poster showed a Black GI as a gorilla hawking a priceless Italian treasure, the Venus de Milo, for $2.

The American poster is one of the few in the war that shows a Black man, and the only one we can recall to feature an integrated workforce. It would not be til 1948 that President Truman would officially integrate the armed services, but this 1942 poster portrayed a societal shift that was slowly in the making.

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