1001 Black Men #947


This brotha was probably the best dressed man at the DMV all afternoon. He looked like he was ready to go to church, or maybe he was heading out to a nightclub after he renewed his license plates. It’s strange how, for certain genders and age groups, in certainly parts of the country, church clothes and nightclub clothes look pretty much the same.

Ajuan Mance


1001 Black Men #944


The best way I’ve found to pass the time at the DMV is to draw the people around you. When I misplaced my license for the second time in the last two years, I headed to the Claremont Avenue DMV with my sketchbook and settled in for a long afternoon. Getting to my turn didn’t take nearly as long as I expected, but I was still able to complete several drawings while I waited.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #943


Here’s another man who allowed me to photograph him for later inclusion in my online sketchbook. I met him at the Oakland Book Festival, towards the end of the day. He seemed somewhat disarmed by my request, but I showed him some images from this series of drawings, and he warmed to my request to make his portrait a part of this project.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #941


I met the subject of this portrait at The Art of Living Black (TAOLB) Open Studios Weekend at Mills College. They were with Roxana Dhada, a Bay Area artist and zine maker. I first met Roxana at the 2013 East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest. It was wonderful to run into my fellow artist at our 2015 open studios event.

At TAOLB at Mills, her very tall friend allowed me to photograph them for later inclusion in my online sketchbook.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #940


We ran into my partner’s old friend T-Mark at the opening of the Making a Scene exhibit at SOMArts. It was early July, summer 2015. T-Mark is a fascinating guy with a penchant for memory games, a great sense of humor, and a warm spirit. He now works for one of the national airlines, and his position has enabled him to pursue his lifelong love of travel. Whenever we run into T-Mark every year or so,  he always has an amazing travel story to tell; and every time we part company, I wonder whether or not I should get a job with one of the airlines. Perhaps they could use an official portrait artist. Then again, perhaps not…

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #938


At the, 7th Street Post Office, Oakland, California.


The 7th Street Post Office is a portrait artist’s bonanza. It’s one of the places in the city in which you can encounter a truly representative cross section of the working men and women of Black Oakland. Whenever I go there, I see a least a couple of people I want to include in this series. I don’t always  get a chance to add them, but this portrait and the next depict men who were waiting in line with me during a Christmas Eve errand to the P.O.

Ajuan Mance

An Online Sketchbook @8-Rock.com