1001 Black Men–#532



















Hi everyone! I’m so glad to be back! Between creating new work for a show and traveling to see my parents, I have been away from my online sketchbook for the longest time yet in the nearly three years since I began this project.

I have not, however, been away from my real life sketchbook and I have 38–that’s right, 38 new drawings to post. I’m going to get as many as possible out in the coming week, because even when my posting gets a bit slow, I continue to make new art in my offline sketchbook (from whence the drawings originate).

I was recently in the airport and, even though my flight was delayed and I had to be completely rebooked on a different itinerary, I actually had a very pleasant day. The secret? Leaving my computer in my office and checking my luggage. When I fly, I usually carry my anvil-sized laptop and I also bring my clothing in a carry-on bag. Between carrying the computer bag over my shoulder and wheeling the suitcase, moving around through the airport is kind of awkward. Without those items, I felt light as a feather, and that alone was enough to put me in a good mood for all four legs of my roundtrip flight to Nashville, TN and back. Add to all of this my Bose noise-cancelling headphones (and I mention these by name because they are pretty much the best there are and you should really, really buy them), and I actually enjoyed my 4.5 hours on board each way.

The man in this drawing is one of the many Black men I saw in the various airports through which I passed. He was standing in the food court area near my departure gate in Oakland, wringing his hands over the apparent stress of deciding between Burger King, Otaez (a local Mexican restaurant with a food stand inside the Oakland airport, and Peony Asian Cafe (yes, I realize how vague that name seems to be, given the immense size and diversity of Asia). In the end he went for the King, taking comfort, I suppose, in the  flame-broiled familiarity of America’s number two burger chain. Personally, I can still remember my time as a teenage employee of the number one and number three chains, and that alone has destroyed my faith in the idea that fast food burgers are made of food. (They are fast, though.)

Ajuan Mance

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