The following list includes all AfriCOBRA Members
from the past (white text) and present (purple text):
Napoleon Jones-Henderson joined 1969
Nelson Stevens joined 1969
Frank Smith joined 1973
James Phillips joined 1974
Adger Cowans joined 1978
Michael D. Harris joined 1978
Akili Ron Anderson joined 1980
Kevin Cole joined 2003
Renee Stout joined 2017
Jeff Donaldson joined 1968 (deceased-February 29, 2004)
Wadsworth Jarrell joined 1968 (year resigned 1998)
Elaine “Jae” Jarrell joined 1968 (year resigned 1976)
Barbara Jones-Hogu joined 1968 (year resigned 1974)
Gerald Williams joined 1968 (year resigned in 1979)
Carolyn Mims Lawrence joined 1968 (year resigned 1974)
Omar Lama joined 1969 (year resigned 1970)
Sherman Beck joined 1969 (year resigned 1970)
Howard Mallory joined 1972 (year resigned 1975)
Michelle Talibah Fennel joined 1978 (year resigned 1979)
Michael Auld joined 1978 (year resigned 1979)
Rose Auld joined 1978 (year resigned 1979)
Murry DePillars joined 1980 (deceased-June 3, 2008)
Helen Haynes joined 1980 (year resigned 1982)
Moyo Akediji joined 2011 (year resigned 2017)
Radcliff Bailey joined 2016 (year resigned 2017)
AfriCOBRA birthed itself in 1968 and established an aesthetic and philosophical basis which grounded our work.
AfriCOBRA’s aesthetics were derived from a keen observation of our families, our community and the way we express our sensibilities of style, color, rhythm, music, food, speech and social interactions and most importantly our spirituality.
Many of us were aware of African art and its varied forms and ancient arts; coupled with our academic and real-life experience with Africans living in Chicago and associations with mentors and proteges who had lived and traveled to Africa. Black Chicago’s activist comrades Holt Fuller, Margret Burroughs, Gwendolyn Brookes and Lerone Bennett Jr. are just a few Chicago luminaries we affiliated with on a regular basis.
Throughout these years other individuals affiliated with us as invitees or interested artist as member-associates. Several became full members and continue as such today. AfriCOBRA is the longest continually active artist collective/commune in Western Art History; who forged a movement, laser focused on our overarching concern of “re-affirmation” of the “self” through an African-centeric aesthetic and philosophy.
A philosophy committed to creating positive images of dignity and nationhood; “Art for the People”, not for the museums.
Today, AfriCOBRA NOW, is still creating
“Art for the People”.
Napoleon Jones-Henderson 2018 ©