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AfriCOBRA, or the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, was an artist collective in Chicago.

Goals of the AFRICOBRA movement[edit]

AfriCOBRA, worked to make African-American art something unique in society, and co-founder Gerald Williams explains the dilemma that African American artists faced:

We came to the realization that there was not the existence of a consistent, unequivocal, uniquely Black aesthetic in visual arts as there was in other disciplines, notably music and dance."[1]

To attempt to create this idea of blackness, black artists of this time period used different techniques to display the aspects of blackness in their artwork, in addition to gaining a more equal position in society, such as the commemoration of black revolutionaries in the Wall of Respect that was painted by the members of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC).

Jeff Donaldson, Wadsworth Jarrell, Gerald Williams, and Barbara Jones-Hogu were members originally.[2]

AfriCOBRA was more than a collection of artists; it was a passionate call for freedom founded on a set of philosophical and aesthetic principles. In the struggle for liberation and equality within the African-American community, AfriCOBRA represented these principles through the medium of art.

Barbara Jones-Hogu characterized the artistic expression of the AfriCOBRA movement by saying: “[Our art] must communicate to its viewer a statement of truth, of action, of education, of conditions and a state of being to our people. We wanted to speak to them and for them, by having our common thoughts, feelings, trials and tribulations express our total existence as a people.”[3]


  1. ^ Williams, Gerald (20089), Africobra - an Introduction, AfriCobra web site, retrieved 01-10-2011  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  2. ^ Power, Politics, & Pride: AfriCOBRA.
  3. ^ Jones-Hogu, Barbara (20089), The History, Philosophy and Aesthetics of AFRICOBRA., Area Chicago, retrieved 01-10-2011  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)

External links[edit]