new-york

Sadie Barnette, My Father’s FBI File: Government Employee (detail), 2017, five ink-jet prints, each 22 × 17".

Sadie Barnette

Fort Gansevoort Gallery

Sadie Barnette, My Father’s FBI File: Government Employee (detail), 2017, five ink-jet prints, each 22 × 17".

On the ground floor of Sadie Barnette’s solo exhibition, a group of five framed and enlarged COINTELPRO-era documents, sporadically misted with passages of black and hot-pink spray paint, reported that Rodney Ellis Barnette was observed wearing a postal uniform at a meeting of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles on December 18, 1968. Barnette, we learned, was also “living with a woman to whom he was not married” at the time and, on June 6, 1969, received a letter from the US Civil Service Commission advising that he did “not meet the suitability requirements for employment in the competitive Federal service because of immoral conduct.” Titled My Father’s FBI File: Government Employee,2017, this cache of documents revealing the FBI’s covert dismissal of Rodney Barnette, father of the artist and founder of the Compton, California, chapter of the Black Panther Party—is part

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