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Ademola Olugebefola: Home

Guide to Ademola Olugebefola: Artist, designer, educator, activist, and one of the founding members of the artist collective Weusi. Guide by Serena Torres.


Olugebefola, Ademola, Fertility, 1967, 21/40 Woodcut, 24.5 x 19.5

This guide will assist researchers and scholars of the Schomburg Center and beyond who are interested in conducting research on the artist Ademola Olugebefola by providing access to information about his artwork, primary sources, books, and visual materials at the Schomburg Center and throughout the New York Public Library by or about the artist. This guide also provides other useful resources outside of the Schomburg Center and the New York Public Library.


Artist Summary

Ademola Olugebefola, born Bedwick L.Thomas in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, came to the states when he was five years old. He moved to Harlem in 1966 right in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement where he found art to be extremely liberating. Ademola and the WEUSI Artist Collective were warriors in the Black Arts Movement and strongly believed in the philosophy “Black Art for Black People.” He expressed in an interview in 2012 that “there was a need to deconstruct stereotypes that had still been lingering since enslavement” and so it was his and the Black Arts Movement's mission to set out to “beautify women, regalize the black man and our images, promote the culture the beauty of brilliance of color within the African tradition.”

Ademola Olugebefola is one of the founding members of the WEUSI Artist Collective. Weusi, a Swahili word meaning blackness, was established in Harlem in 1965. Black artist, like Ademola, decided to take control of their image and come together to represent themselves in their art, by using iconic images and symbols from Africa, and working collectively by establishing galleries to exhibit and sell their creations.