As AfriCOBRA expanded their philosophy, they developed as a group who created messages that dealt with the past, to give definition to our existence, in the present, to identify the images and activities of our present situation, and the future that would show a direction toward purpose and solution. Key Themes explored through their work include:

The Individual and the Family

  • A. The growth of the individual from the cradle to the grave. We will express the physical, mental and emotional changes of the male and/or female as they develop from a baby to a child to teenager—adult and old age; and in so doing, we can state their trials, their errors, accomplishments and success, their character, wisdom, foolishness, etc.
  • B. We will make visual statements of how we see the positive or negative relationship between husband and wife, mother and child, and father and children. What type of roles are we playing and are our roles relevant to our whole existence as a people. We will extend our visual imagery to speak of our relationship and activities of our extended family—the cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, godparents. How they created strong influences on our life, past or present? The family relations with other families or other groups of the same or different ethnic groups. We will identify ourselves visually at this time-space and record our daily activities, our values and the styles of our day. We will record our dances, our athletics, our hobbies, our night life, our parties, our meetings, our leaders, our labors, our children and their education.


  • A. There are different contents of education, including the spiritual education of the family. This is not to replace spiritual education in the Christian church, but to state a need for a spiritual religion based on the needs of our people and a supreme being which reflects ourselves and our needs.
  • B. The humanizing aspects of education are respect, truth, and brotherhood: The role of man: the role of woman: the role of child and family to the total group. We must be concerned about establishing positive values and relationships in these aspects of education.
  • C. Our visual image will express the academic education of learning one’s history, circumstances and accomplishments.
  • D. The industrial education of producing and being productive for self and kind in the building of every component needed to run a nation.

 Social Needs and Social Services

  • A. Health facilities and services. Visually, what is the state of health facilities and services. We will express the need to develop our own health facilities in order to safeguard the health of our people.
  • B. We will express the protection of safeguarding the welfare of our old, young and those in need. We must be responsible for their welfare.
  • C. We will visually analyze our protective forces in the police or the use of security guards. Do they actually protect and serve our communities? If not, how can this be altered? The protection of the community and all of its components should be our responsibility and should not be allocated to an opposing group.
  • D. We will visually express a need to establish and develop our community institutions such as cultural, social, educational and religious or spiritual centers and provoke positive actions by visually stating how these organizations should develop the philosophy and ideology of blackness and its welfare and continuous existence.

 Economic Needs

  • A. We will visually state types of jobs available to our people and the types of skills and professions needed to run a nation are not just those that are teachers, lawyers, and doctors; but those who are also needed are people skilled in the technology of food, clothing, and housing industries. Those who make operations run such as janitors, secretaries, programmers, repairmen, etc.
  • B. We will be concerned about the types of businesses and industries which must be created to be self-sufficient people.
  • C. We will develop new solutions to different types of needs and services which employ community personnel, yet develop and perpetuate our people as a cohesive community.

Present, Past and Future Political Needs and Developments

  • A. What type of governmental or guidance unit should be developed and put into practice and the types of rules and regulations which should govern us as a group, which would provoke the need for government and self-governmental plans over not today but the next twenty or thirty or one hundred years? We are kept from developing future programs because we are kept in an unbalanced state of either acting or reacting to our present circumstances. These methods and solutions to constant flux can be visually stated.
  • B. Political and group cohesiveness is needed to build a strong Black nation and to develop our total culture. Visually we can state the need for group action toward the positive needs in a cooperative direction.

    Religious Needs

  • We will develop an image which stresses a strong religion which has us as the base of its origin with the Supreme Being and the mediator reflecting our physical being. We must illustrate stronger ties between our people and for our people. We must develop a more concrete moral code.