1001 Black Men–#330

Hi Folks! I’ve been plugging away at the daily drawings, sometimes completing two or three drawings in a day; but I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t had a moment to sit down and post. I also have a couple of cool new projects in the works that you might be interested in, but I’ll write about those in an upcoming entry.

I do believe that this is the last of the drawings inspired by my trip to Yale. This is a drawing of my suite mate. He is a philosophy professor and a really sharp guy with a creative mind. His ideas about the slave narrative a pretty hot stuff, and I look forward to reading his book when it comes out.

In the background, you will notice a stained glass window depicting enslaved Black women holding large baskets of cotton on their heads. You might ask, “Why is this the background for your drawing?” Because this was one of several stained glass images depicting scenes from U.S. slavery that adorned the windows of the Calhoun dining hall, where our group had its meals. The irony that a group of scholars who were gathered to discuss slave narratives was taking its meals in a historic building whose windows depicted scenes from slavery was not lost on any of us.

I have to say, there is something I liked about the fact that while these images persist the diversity of the people in the dining hall has changed dramatically. First Yale began to admit women, and now it also has a significant proportion of students of color. I would never want the University to remove these images. We need these reminders of how far we have come. When these windows were created, the administrators of the University probably had little idea that the descendants of U.S. Black slaves would one take sit alongside the descendants of slaveowners, and that all would be entitled to and have the advantage of the same education, the same opportunities, and the same seat at the (dining) table.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *