Vulnerable to Violence: Jeff Donaldson’s Ala Shango and the Erasure of Diasporic Difference

  title={Vulnerable to Violence: Jeff Donaldson’s Ala Shango and the Erasure of Diasporic Difference},
  author={Nicholas Miller},
  journal={Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art},
  pages={40 - 47}
  • Nicholas Miller
  • Published 1 May 2015
  • Art
  • Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art
This article examines AfriCOBRA cofounder Jeff Donaldson’s painting Ala Shango (1969) in relation to the 1968 Chicago riots and the militaristic and Pan-Africanist rhetoric of the Black Nationalist movement. Specifically, I discuss the artist’s appropriation and incorporation of a double-headed axe of Shango, the Yoruba god of fire, lightning, and thunder. The axe, wielded by the composition’s central figure, shatters the pictorial plane of the canvas, which Donaldson variously labeled GLASS… 



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