Painted at the height of the AFRICOBRA period, this image epitomizes the philosophies that informed the foundation of the group. This is true for the subject matter, as well as for the formal aesthetic content. The subject matter reflects the importance AFRICOBRA put on family and community. The image shows Wadsworth holding one of his children, offering a positive and loving image of a tight-knit Black Family—an everyday version of the heroic Black faces that Wadsworth painted on the Wall of Respect years earlier. Aesthetically, we see many formal visual strategies at work, including "Cool-Ade" colors, the use of text, the incorporation of a range of textures, and a mixture of figuration and abstract symbolism. The repeating "B" motif running throughout the piece is common in Wadsworth's earliest works, a variable which could stand for Black, Beautiful, Bold, Boss, Badass, and so on, and in this case, he extends it into the phrase "Band Together Black People." The painting depicts Wadsworth with his son, Wadsworth Jr. sometimes known as Jerry, who was sometimes humorously characterized as the "mascot" for AFRICOBRA, as he was present at many of the earliest meetings.
The artist's studio, Chicago, IL, USA Kavi Gupta gallery, Chicago, IL, USA
Heritage: Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell, 2017, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, USA Africobra50, 2018, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL, USA Africobra: Nation Time, 2019, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy