Jeff Donaldson (1932–2004) attained many distinctions in his lifetime. In addition to chalking up a highly impressive list of academic and pedagogical achievements, culminating in a Ph.D. in African and African American art history from Chicago’s Northwestern University and, later in life, a long-standing deanship at Howard University in Washington, DC, he played a defining role in the development of a “trans-African” aesthetic that endeavored to help shape attitudes toward the African diaspora via unifying signs of protest, positivity, and cultural pride. A founding member of the Organization of Black American Culture, with which he participated through its Visual Arts Workshop in the painting of the historic Wall of Respect, 1967a montaged pantheon of African American heroes and heroines that graced the exterior of a building in the heart of Chicago’s once so-called Black
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