Kenneth Brad Ott Collection: Underground Publishing as Activism

(Kenneth) Brad Ott is a social justice activist and sociological researcher living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ott wrote, edited, and self-published Dialogue Newsjournal, (1981-1998) and Cafe Progresso Magazine, (1997-2001), covering community activism and social justice activities in New Orleans and Louisiana for over 20 years. 

For this exhibit, we have chosen a selection of Ott's publications as well as other publications related to anti-war activism and consciousness-raising that were collected by Ott during his publishing years. The publications are presented as documents indicative of their time and community providing insight into grassroots activism in the New Orleans area, and self-publishing, and alternative/underground press publication as activism in the late 1970s-1990s. 

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Dialogue Vol.3, No. 3, October 1983 Ott Collection, Box 1, Folder 30 

Brad Ott wrote, edited, and published the grassroots publications Dialogue Newsjournal, (1981-1998). This publication covered community activism and activities in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Dialogue Vol. 4, No. 2, September 1984 Ott Collection, Box 1, Folder 41

The quote on the front of this issue of Dialogue was a joke made by President Ronald Reagan recorded during a microphone test prior to a radio broadcast in 1984. This mic check gaffe cost the president 9 points in public opinion polls that year.

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Dialogue #81, Autumn, 1989 Ott Collection, Box 3, Folder 9

A satirical political cartoon referencing the March 1979 nuclear spill at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactors in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The accident heightened public concerns and led to the immediate shutdown of several other nuclear power plants resulting in near-total devastation of the nuclear power industry.

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Dialogue #89, September-October, 1991 Ott Collection, Box 3, Folder 17 

Cover article on Corp. Erik Larsen, a United States Marine who deserted during the Gulf War.

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The Mobilizer Vol. 4/No. 4, Summer, 1985 Ott Collection, Box 10, Folder 9 

Publication of Mobilization for Survival (Est. 1977), a national coalition organized around four goals: "Zero Nuclear Weapons, Ban Nuclear Power, Stop the Arms Race, and Fund Human Needs."

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Broken Barriers, Late Summer 1979 Ott Collection, Box 11 

Broken Barriers was a New Orleans alternative news and arts magazine edited by Mark Carlson. It was the successor to the infamous and controversial NOLA Express magazine and covered similar territory; incorporating radical politics, 1st Amendment rights, comics, poetry, art, and local event calendars and reviews.

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The Progressive Review, Number 250, September-October, 1985 Ott Collection, Box 10, Folder 11 

The Progressive Review is an alternative publication edited by Sam Smith. Smith is a journalist and pioneer of early alternative media, having started publishing The Progressive Review online in 1995.

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Kill for Peace, Again, 1987 Ott -Collection, Box 10, Folder 13

Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010) was a poet, cartoonist, pacifist anarchist, and the co-founder of the satirical rock band, The Fugs.

In 1965 Kupferberg originally wrote the song "Kill for Peace" in opposition to the Vietnam War. The song's lyrics were continually modified to reflect the current politics of war. The lyrics provided here are from a version written in 1987, when Ronald Reagan was president.

Kenneth Brad Ott Collection: Underground Publishing as Activism