Arthur Joseph Graham was born in Kingston, Jamaica, B.W.I. He immigrated to the United States in 1954,
and resided in San Diego, California, with his parents and four siblings. Father Arthur B. Graham, Mother Ruby I.
Graham, and is survived by siblings Kenneth Graham, Vivienne Graham Roy, and Anthony B. Graham, as well as
numerous nieces and nephews.
He attended and graduated from Sweetwater Union High School (1959), from San Diego State University
(SDSU - B.Sc. Accounting, 1967), and from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD - Ph.D. English and
American Literature, 1980).
After receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Army in 1963, Arthur Graham became a
United States citizen. During the 60's, he became active in the Civil Rights Movement. At SDSU, for instance, he
founded the Black Students' Council (BSC), the prototype for all Black student unions throughout the country.
Teaming with other concerned Citizens, Graham helped to establish an alternative private school,
Operation Stimulation. He also served as the prime force behind the acquisition of United States Navy held land.
Subsequently, he wrote the proposal for an $8 million Model Cities Program Grant, used for the construction of the
Educational Cultural Complex (ECC). Today, the ECC is a campus of the San Diego Community College District.
Graham gave his first public lecture on "Black and White Images" at SDSU in May 1968. He completed
formal studies on media images at UCSD with his epoch-making theory of Form and Structure, the "Manichean
Leitmotif." Essentially, this theory deals with the ideology and psychology of racism in American fiction.
While an undergraduate at SDSU, Graham gave serious consideration on becoming a professional writer.
Although the wages of starvation seemed eminent, he embarked upon the path to mastery of the craft. As such, he
wrote and read essays and poems with Black Book Productions, a group of aspiring contemporaries who dedicated
themselves to exploring, defining, and imaginatively expressing the Black Experience through the mythopoetics of
the Black Aesthetics: "Black Is Beautiful!"
A spirit of affirmation sustained Graham from the publication of the group's first anthology, Voices From
the Ghetto (1968), down to this day. Next, he selected several poems from Voices and, thereby, re-created and
incorporated them into The Nationals: A Black Happening in Three Acts (1968).
The following year he published The Last Shine. This one-act, modern allegory was produced at the Inner-
City Reader's Theater, Los Angeles, and at the West Coast Black Repertory Theatre, San Francisco, in 1976.
Graham wrote, produced, and directed the three-act drama Daddy Was A Welfare Check (1975) at San Diego
State University Experimental Theatre.
Again, in 1991, he staged Daddy at Hunter College in New York City. In his children's story, The Captain and
His Crew (1972) the Little Black Star is based on the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s Black Star Ship. This story
is a longtime favorite of young and old. Also drawing from the works of Garvey, Graham created and design the
Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. In an effort to set the record straight, the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa all complete were
delivered to Ron Karenga to introduce and disseminate only.
Graham wrote numerous articles for magazines and newspapers, short stories, radio dramas, TV shows, and
original screenplays (in the trunk), including the ever ready, Payola Blues.
Academically, his articles on the Core Curriculum appeared both in the New York Daily News (13 August
1990) and in the New York Amsterdam News (18 August 1990).
Arthur Graham is listed in Black Playwrights, 1823-1977: An Annotated Bibliography of Plays (Bowker); in Afro-
American Poetry and Drama, 1760-1975 (Gale Research); and in Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their
Plays (Greenwood Press).
In 1989 Arthur Graham and Serita Coffee co-founded Image Analysts All Media Services. This Los Angeles
based firm provides the exclusive Image Coverage, by pinpointing the subliminal as well as the apparent ethnic
symbolism and racial stereotypes that are oftentimes offensive and discrediting to industry professionals and
to the general public. The goal of Image Analysts is to foster and promote better multi-cultural understanding
through honest and balanced portrayals of minorities in the mainstream media.
Both Graham and Coffee assisted the Los Angeles Branch NAACP in its courageous probe into racism and
into excessive violence in the media, by coauthoring the report, "The Hollywood Color Code" (1992). This study
introduced the now popular metaphor, subliminal racism; furthermore, it demonstrated a paradigm shift by use of
a revolutionary, new critical model: the tetranalysis.
This exclusive methodology delineates positive and negative images in all works of art, especially movie
images, through a unique examination of the four fundamental aesthetics elements: form, motion, sound and
An article in the New York City National Alliance (25 June 1992), entitled "Hollywood's Color Code," posited
that the report "created quite a stir when it was first released" along with the NAACP press release: "Image
Analysis, Academy Awards and Craft Racism."
Responding to inquiries for more information on subliminal racism, Graham and Coffee published the
report in book form: Image Coverage: Academy Awards and Other Movie Reviews (Los Angeles, 1995). They added
five samples from widespread periodical responses and a chapter of Historical Notes that chronicled certain
interfacing encounters surrounding the press conference and respondents' evaluations. In addition, Graham
included a seminal Introduction to his new paradigm, the tetranalysis.
Requests poured into Image Analysts to do other coverages, especially on controversial movies. For
example, - the Simon Wiesenthal Center for the Museum of Racial Tolerance called Graham, among others, to
review the movie, Schindler's List. Graham's critique of that movie resulted in the pamphlet, The Mercy Seat (The
Book Tree, Glendale, 1994).
In 1995, Graham reviewed the movie Sankofa for the Los Angeles Community Circle News in the article
entitled "Co-Opting Sankofa." He also spoke on racism and media images at Eso Won Books; at the Good Life
Restaurant; and before the Coalition Against Black Exploitation (CABE), a vigilant watchdog organization based in
Image Analysts produced the video tape, Memento Mori: Criticism of the Death's-Head (1994), illustrating
new insights that are at the cutting edge of media literacy. On July 26, 1994, Graham appeared on "The Book Beat,”
KDOC Channel 56, Pasadena, California. He went one-on-one in the Final Call interview: "Image analyst decodes
media's hidden messages" (January 19, 1994). During Black History Month, he accepted an invitation extended by
Guardians of the Culture, Inc., to visit the City of Savannah, Georgia. There he was interviewed on two local radio
stations, producing two audio tapes: Tetranalysis (Radio Power to the People) and Skin Color Symbolism (Savannah
State University Radio).
Most important, the Savannah itinerary gained recognition when the Mayor of the City of Savannah, the
Honorable Floyd Adams, Jr., proclaimed February 25, 1998: "Dr. Arthur J. Graham Day." Likewise, the Honorable Dr.
Billy B. Hair, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners of Chatham County, Georgia, extended this great honor to
As a professor of literature, Graham taught at SDSU, Compton College, Santa Monica College, Los Angeles
City College, Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn), and Hunter College (New York City).
Under the sponsorship of Kwanzaa People of Color (KPOC), housed at the African American Unity Center,
Los Angeles, Graham developed and initiated the curriculum, Exclusive Language Arts and Literature Tutorial
Program, presenting, thereby, instructions on Basic Skills, College Composition, Media Images Research, and
WHEREAS, Upon the gracious invitation of "Guardians of the Culture", Dr. Arthur J. Graham
visited the City of Savannah, GA, on a Cultural Enrichment Program during Black History Month to
share his expertise on media images with the community as well as with local scholars; and
\VIIEREAS, through the guidance and good judgement of “Guardians of the Culture", Dr.
Graham was introduced to the Savannah Radio Audience on "Power to the People", hosted by Wesley
Crenshaw and Josey Sheppard; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Graham was born in Kingston, Jamaica and became a United States citizen
in 1963 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1967 from San Diego State
University and a P.11.D. in English and American Literature at the University of California in San
Diego in 1980; and
\VIIEREAS, he is the author of the book entitled, "Image Coverage" which provides a
historical and modern day look at negative imagery in art, literature and cinema; and
'WHEREAS, Dr. Graham is the co founder and research director of Image Analyst of Media
Services in Santa Monica, California and the originator of the concept and methodology, tetranalysis, which
is a new paradigm for analyzing positive and negative portrayals of ethics in works of art, advertising,
visual presentations and other forms of aesthetics symbolism.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dr. Billy 13. Hair, on behalf of the I3oard of Commissioners of
Chatham County, recognize on this day February 25, 1998:
"Dr. Arthur J. Graham"
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Chatham
County, to be affixed on this the 25th day of Febuary, 1998
WHEREAS: Upon the gracious invitation of "Guardians of the Culture, "Dr. Arthur J.
Graham visited the City of Savannah, GA, on a Cultural Enrichment
Program during Black History Month to share his expertise 011 media
images with the community as well as with local scholars; and
WHEREAS: through the guidance and good judgment of "Guardians of t/1e Culture,"
Dr. Graham was introduced to the Savannah Radio Audience 011 "Power
to the People, " hosted by Wesley Crenshaw and Josey Sheppard; and
WHEREAS: Dr. Graham is an accomplished playwright, educator and acr.01111tn11t. Born
in Kingston, Jamaica, he became a United States citizen in 1963; and
WHEREAS: He received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting in 1967 from
San Diego State University and a P.H.D. in English and American
Literature at the University of California in San Diego in 1980; and
WHEREAS: He is the author of the book entitled, "Image Coverage" which provides a
historical and modem day look at negative imagery in art, literature and
WHEREAS: Dr. Graham is the co-founder and research director of Image Analyst of
media services in Santa Monica, California; and
WHEREAS: Dr. Graham is the originator of the concept and methodology,
tetranalysis, which is a new paradigm for analyzing positive and negative
portrayals of ethics i11 work of art, advertising, visual prese111aria11s and
other forms of aesthetics symbolism.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Floyd Adams, Jr., Mayor of the City of Savannah, do hereby
proclaim February 25, 1998 as:
"Dr. Arthur J. Graham Day " '
Graham served on the boards of directors of three non-profit organizations: Passage Foundation
For Children, Inc., located in San Diego, and Kwanzaa People of Color, Inc., located in Los Angeles. Most
recently, he became a board member of Ayin Alem, Inc. (Ethiopian: "Eyes of the World"), located in
Arthur Graham was the Research Director of Image Analysts All Media Services, Los Angeles. He
was also the Founder-President of the Institute of Tetranalysis, Inc., the newly formed, non-profit graduate
institution that is dedicated to the extension and application of the theory of the "Manichean Leitmotif"
into interdisciplinary studies, particularly social studies and psycholinguistics.
His mission in our multi-cultural society is to implement the tetranalysis (paradigm shift) in the
working out of Core Curriculum Systems for the acquisition of reading, writing, computing, and critical
thinking skills that not only under grid and sustain cognitive development but also inspire ascendant self-
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