Date of Award

7-1-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. Juliet Blackburn-Beamon

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the role of Afri-COBRA, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. Afri-Cobra is a professional black artist’s guild founded in the 1960s in Chicago, Illinois who serve now, as well as in the past, as the unacknowledged founders and promoters of the notion of Arts for People’s Sake. Further, Afri-COBRA utilized the black aesthetic as the conceptual framework in its investigation of black art within the revolutionary Black Arts Movement especially in creating the visual arts component of Arts for People’s Sake in the black community. Narrative Analysis was utilized to undergird the ideology and philosophy of this art entity and its implications of black imagery seen in the exhibit of the artists and their efforts to expand for the people the political/social restructuring of black identity. The results of this study revealed the leadership and visionary passion envisioned by group founders. Their works create a new black image paradigm that has implications for the lives of oppressed and marginalized groups worldwide. In conclusion, this research purposely placed Afri-COBRA as a leader in redefining what is necessary for arts and artists. They are pioneers in community based art due to their commitment to include in their creations central components of graphic and colorful protest. Afri-COBRA’s vision continues to influence popular culture, both nationally and culturally.

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