1001 Black Men–#479

I was waiting at a stoplight at the corner of MacArthur and 35th when I noticed a man with a 1980s flattop who had a fairly large Bible in his hand. He was stepping off the 57 bus on MacArthur Blvd. Thinking about him later that evening, I decided to draw him as an African American minister, but incorporating a late 19th-century photograph of a Black church congregation and some old sheet music for the spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” These elements link him to the long tradition of African American Protestant Christianity. The sheet music in the background is taken from The Book of American Negro Spirituals, edited and arranged by African American brothers, composers, and educators James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamund Johnson. The collection was first published in 1925.

Ajuan Mance

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