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The Political Economy of AfriCOBRA

Formed in Chicago in 1968, AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) dedicated itself to producing art for Black people independent of white-controlled museums and markets. Examining business records from the Archives of American Art’s Jeff Donaldson Papers, this essay contributes to recent conversations about Black collectivity by exploring how AfriCOBRA navigated capitalism to sustain its revolutionary art practice. In doing so, I argue for the significance of AfriCOBRA as a political economy: a system for producing and distributing Black culture.
Relevant research areas: North America, 20th Century, Screenprinting