ruth marion baruch

Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones, The Vanguard: A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers, 1970.

In 1968, the wife and husband team of photographers Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones, who were interested in the counterculture movements of the 1960s in California, produced an extensive reportage on the Black Panthers for the Young Museum in San Francisco. Their aim was to promote understanding of the movement and counteract its negative social perception, fostered by the media. Their series showed an intimacy with the Black Panthers, beyond the military and gang connotations of their uniform, strategically adopted by the Party to counter the victimisation of the community and promote empowerment though an attractive self-image. Baruch and Jones revealed the under-represented side of the Panthers’ activity, their soup kitchens and social welfare services, as well as how they were repressed and attacked.