About the Project
Surgeon General’s Warning consisted of seven large color posters that addressed issues of AIDS, homelessness, racism, and censorship. As inspiration for the posters, Beth B.—a multimedia artist and filmmaker—drew from images of popular culture and historical propaganda. During the course of the project, a new poster was publicly revealed and displayed each week for seven consecutive weeks in Harlem, the Bronx, Soho, and the Lower East Side.
The images were also printed as postcards and mailed to political, social, and religious leaders, including Senator Jesse Helms and the American Family Association. Slogans on the censorship posters included, “Stop This Monster that Stops at Nothing: Surgeon General’s Warning: Racism Segregates Us All” and “Censorship Never Again: Surgeon General’s Warning: Censorship May be Hazardous to Your Freedom.”