1001 Black Men #783

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“The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.” –James Baldwin

The power of the white world is equally destabilized whenever a Black writer or artist of any gender refuses to accept the narrow range of Black images that the white world has created.

Until Black people deliberately and consistently choose to privilege in their purchases and other forms of consumption those images of Blackness that people of African descent have created in opposition to white supremacy and in the service of our own aspirations and dreams, we remain complicit in our own marginalization and objectification.

We must vote with our wallets for those African American images that affirm our diversity, our beauty, and our strengths. I have not done enough to support those writers and musicians whose works reflect the way Black folks really live; and I have spent entirely too much of my time and my money indulging in the guilty pleasure of those movies and musical performers whose images reflect not the diversity of our experiences, but rather the narrow range of Black character types on which white supremacy depends.

I need to do better. We all need to do better. We must support those creatives whose vision–expressed in music, art, on the stage, or in print–reflects the Black lives we live, rather than the Black lives the mainstream wants to believe that we live. We must Buy Black Back.

Ajuan Mance

Re-Post: In Memoriam–Michael Brown

 

1001 Black Men #782

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This evening, I’m thinking about Black men’s lives. Today I grieve the loss of Michael Brown and the failure of the grand jury to bring charges against Officer Wilson, and I reassert my commitment to documenting the lives of the Black men around me.

In a society whose officers of the law too often react to young Black men as though their very existence is a crime, Black men’s simple, daily tasks are acts of resistance. When a Black man carries out the activities of his daily life with style, self-assurance, and beauty, his resistance become a work of art.

Ajuan Mance

 

1001 Black Men #781

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Foothill Blvd. near High St., Oakland, CA.

I love seeing Black fathers with their kids, but it also makes me feel a little sad. There’s something bittersweet about seeing African American men doing one of the most ordinary things in the world–being dads to their kids–and knowing that many people in this country don’t even believe loving Black fathers exist.

Ajuan Mance

 

1001 Black Men #780

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I was going through my sketches from the last several weeks, and I found this one tucked into a pile of more recent drawings. This is one of my pieces from Comic-Con 2014. This cute kid was sitting a couple rows ahead of me during a panel on Black people in comics, featuring Bayou artist and writer, Jeremy Love.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #779

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GameStop, Emeryville, CA.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #778

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Waiting in line outside of the Monkey King restaurant, Alameda, CA.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #777

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The San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of largest communities of bears in the western world. In this context, the word bear refers not to large four-legged creatures of the woods, but to large gay men with big beards.

Despite the number of gay bears in this region, the Black bear remains a rare occurrence. So, when I saw these two gentleman at Books Inc. in the Castro, I knew I had to record the moment for posterity.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #776

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Three friends, outside La Farine bakery, Fruitvale Ave., Oakland, CA.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #775

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Passing by the window of Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Fruitvale Ave., Oakland, CA

Why draw this brotha? It’s always interesting to see someone in real life who has the kind of body you usually only see on televised sports.

Ajuan Mance