Prophet William Blackmon

Year inducted: 2012

Prophet William Blackmon was an African-American who grew up in a large family with little income but strong emotional and spiritual bonds. After discharge from World War II, his religious convictions intensified and his gifts for healing and prophecy revealed themselves.

In the mid 1970s, Blackmon settled in Milwaukee where he established his “World Revival & Interprice Center,” a combination storefront church and neighborhood self-help agency that included a food pantry, hand laundry and shoe repair shop. To promote his shoe repair shop, Prophet made hand-lettered signs that attracted the attention of local collectors and led to the creation of his first figurative painting in 1984.

As a preacher and prophet, Blackmon’s paintings served as animated visual “sermons” that urged humanity to keep the commandments and live according to God’s will. They also invoked a profound sense of social justice and compassion that honored the downtrodden and reflected his own identity and struggle as a black American.

Works by Prophet William Blackmon