The LEGACY poster began in 1995 while artist Robert Small attended the University of Windsor. He graduated with a bachelors degree in Sociology and a Certificate in Criminology and unfortunately, a mountain of debt in student loans. In an attempt to reduce that loan, Small created five prints of his artwork with a $500 loan from his parents.
After leaving hs artwork on commission with Afrocentric stores like Shrine of the Black Madonna and Truth Bookstore in neighboring Detroit, Michigan was enthusiastic about the interest in his work. Unfortunately after a few months, prints sales were not going as expected. In order to not disappoint his parents Small began thinking about how he could resurrect interest in his prints and his own confidence.
Small thought of the idea of creating a poster that would celebrate Black History Month and feature a sample of his work which he would give away to members of the community to get his name known as an artist. Similar to the historic Kings and Queens of Africa posters sponsored by Budweiser many years ago, Small got several small community businesses to sponsor the poster. In a game-changing move, Small thought of an incredible name for the poster which would reignite his earlier passion for success by calling it “The Official Black History Month Poster”.
Over the next 20 years the poster has gone from being handed out to individual people in Scarborough, Ontario to reaching millions internationally on an annual basis. In 2007, the name of the poster became “LEGACY” and soon after posters were created to celebrate Asian Heritage Month and Women’s History Month. Book-markers for all these months were created as well.
Small is a recent graduate of Teachers College from York University, a father of two girls and presently tours across the country giving speeches on the importance of Black History, the importance of culturally-relevant pedagogy in the school system and delivers powerful workshops.