Exhibition Explores Tobacco Industry’s Targeting of The Black Community: From Chattel Slavery to Menthol Slavery

For Immediate Release: December 2, 2019

Kate Patterson, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4252 / kate.patterson@sfpl.org

Exhibition Explores Tobacco Industry’s Targeting of The Black Community: From Chattel Slavery to Menthol Slavery

The groundbreaking exhibition will highlight the tobacco industry’s history of targeting black communities and will be held from Dec. 7 to Feb. 6, 2020 in the African American Center at San Francisco Main Library

San Francisco – On view in the African American Center at San Francisco Main Library, Same Game Different Smokers: A Look at the Tobacco Industry’s Footprint on Black Lives and Black Lungs illustrates the role that increased demand for tobacco played in the creation of the transatlantic slave trade and how tobacco advertising evolved once the African American community became a lucrative market. With images from Tobacco Control Archives, exhibition curator Tracy Brown demonstrates how the tobacco industry targeted the African American community by repurposing historically racist iconography into slick campaigns and with strategic ad placement, product distribution, event sponsorship and divisive messaging.

“Nicotine addiction products, including e-cigarettes, kill 45,000 African Americans every year, which is more than gun violence or HIV,” says Brown. “My goal is to bring that number down to zero. This exhibition shows that tactics and narratives being used by e-cigarette companies are being taken directly from the Nicotine Addiction Industry playbook and are rooted in racism. I want to ensure that the African American community is not left out of the current conversation around how to address the use of flavored tobacco products, specifically menthol flavoring, to target children and other vulnerable populations.”

The opening reception for the event will beheld from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at the Main Library located at 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA. It will include a ceremonial tribute to the lives of ancestors lost as a result of the actions of the tobacco industry. 

For more information about this exhibition visit www.savingblacklives.org or contact Tracy Brown, Exhibition Curator, at 888.881.6619 x105 or tbrown@amplify.love.

About the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council

Formed in 2008, the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) partners with community stakeholders, elected officials and public health agencies to inform the national direction of tobacco control policy, practices and priorities, as they affect the lives of Black-American and African immigrant populations. The AATCLC has been at the forefront in elevating the regulation of mentholated and other flavored tobacco products on the national tobacco control agenda. www.savingblacklives.org #aatclcsamegame    #aatclc

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