Angela Yvonne Davis was an influential member of the Black Panther Party during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 70s. She remains today one of the most influential Black American civil rights activists and authors. Many AFRICOBRA members memorialized Davis in their artworks. This painting by Gerald Williams gives life to Davis' words, manifesting her ideas on justice, equal rights, and unity as part of the make-up of her very being. Throughout the image, we see the traditional gender symbol for female, an homage to Davis as a strong, confident, Black, female role model.
Wadsworth Jarrell executed a painting of Davis around the same time, however, due to Jarrell and Williams being in separate cities at the time (the Jarrells had left Chicago for Boston in 1970), they were unaware of the other working on similar images, each man equally compelled to render Davis' fierce spirit in AFRICOBRA style. While Jarrell's image became iconic in part due to its translation into an affordable screenprint for AFRICOBRA II, Williams' painting nevertheless endures as an electrifying symbol of the era.
After Williams left the United States to live in Africa in the mid 1970s, the Davis painting remained unseen and unshown for more than 40 years, until being unveiled for AFRICOBRA 50 at Kavi Gupta in 2018.
The artist's studio, Chicago, IL, USA
AFRICOBRA: Nation Time, 2019, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy AFRICOBRA 50, 2018, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL, USA AFRICOBRA III, 1973, Howard University, Washington D.C., USA AFRICOBRA III, 1973, University Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA
AFRICOBRA 50, 2018, published by Kavi Gupta Editions AFRICOBRA: Experimental Art Toward a School of Thought, 2020, written by Wadsworth Jarrell, published by Duke University Press AFRICOBRA (Final Title TBA), 2020, published by Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (Forthcoming)