"To build a nation, you need everybody to work together. You know? Everybody must come together and work together." - Barbara Jones-Hogu
Chicago-based artist Barbara Jones-Hogu was a founding member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA), a group seeking to create positive and culturally relevant art for the urban black community. Jones-Hogu’s use of lettering in print designs, illustrated by her dynamic repetition of the word "unite," was an important component of AfriCOBRA’s early visual aesthetic. The closed raised fist, used here to represent cohesion of purpose within the Black Arts and Black Power movements during the late 1960s and the 1970s, has been adopted by various movements and organizations to represent solidarity and resistance.
Screen print of nine (9) individuals with their right fists raised, standing in two rows facing each other. The foremost figure on the right stands facing the viewer. Clad in black, the figures' bodies and hair are dark shadows while the faces are sharp planes and angles reminiscent of African masks. The background is made up of the word "Unite" repeated in the letters of varying sizes in red, blue, purple and yellow. Along the bottom of the image is the signature of the artist, along with signatures of seven other artists from the AfriCOBRA group. There is violet ink stamped "AfriCOBRA, Print #10, Copyright 1971," on the lower left. The margins around the image are covered with a brown sticky residue. There are streaks of a milky white liquid visible spattered on the image.