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Unite (AfriCOBRA)

Color print of ten African American people raising their fists. They stand in two diagonal lines that converge in the middle. In the background, "unite" is repeated diagonally in yellow, purple, blue, and red block letters.

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  • Color print of ten African American people raising their fists. They stand in two diagonal lines that converge in the middle. In the background, "unite" is repeated diagonally in yellow, purple, blue, and red block letters.

Date:

1971

Artist:

Barbara Jones-Hogu
American, 1938-2017

About this artwork

Barbara Jones was a founding member of AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), a Chicago-based organization of black artists started in 1968. Unite is a consummate example of the AfriCOBRA ethos because it embodies all of the group’s visual and theoretical ideals. It shows a group of Black Americans making the recognizable Black Power salute, thus communicating an expressive humanism while depicting a fight for cultural liberation. Layered on top of the strong verticals of the raised arms, the word UNITE appears repeatedly in striking block letters that fit together like syncopated pieces of a puzzle. The words alternate in both size and color, creating an effect of symmetry and luminosity.

Many of the artists in AfriCOBRA had previously belonged to the Visual Workshop of OBAC (Organization of Black American Culture), which had created the Wall of Respect in Chicago in 1967. The AfriCOBRA group focused on creating a Black art movement that would positively impact the cultural lives of Black people around the world. They believed that the identity of the group was more important than that of the individual. Their work was specific and functional, and expressed statements about the artists’ existence as Black people, often integrating pointed text with their images.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Barbara Jones

Title

Unite (AfriCOBRA)

Origin

United States

Date

1971

Medium

Color screenprint on ivory wove paper

Dimensions

572 × 762 mm (image); 660 × 852 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Judy and Patrick Diamond

Reference Number

2005.588

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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