Category Archives: Bearded Men

1001 Black Men #955


The last few posts were portraits I made in New York, and now I have a couple from San Francisco. I was walking down one of streets on the edge of SOMA and I saw this man sitting on the benches outside the Honey Bistro Restaurant. The backpack, fake fur hat, and fake fur coat posed an interesting challenge, in that I wasn’t sure I could easily capture their texture in a simple line drawing. I contemplated using comic dots or cross-hatching, and then I realized I’d prefer to keep the figure simple and monochrome.

Ajuan Mance,

1001 Black Men #951


Here’s another portrait from Gunther’s Ice Cream, Sacramento. The man in this drawing was sitting across from the man in the previous drawing. Their ice cream cones were long gone, but they showed no sign of leaving. It was the kind of very hot Sacramento afternoon on which the only thing that really made sense was to sit down and move as little as possible, until  well after the sun went down.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #949


I wish I could remember this guy’s name. He was really nice, and he had a great smile. Also, he was friends with my partner’s friend, T-Mark, and so I knew he had to be a great person. We ran into the two of them at an art exhibit I was participating in at SOMArts, in San Francisco. It was a very pleasant surprise. I don’t know T-Mark terribly well, and he’s more my partner’s friend than mine;  but he’s one of those people who always has a warm smile and kind words to share. When I think about the public perception of Black men as tough guys who’s emotion range extends from stoicism to rage, I feel sad for those people in the majority–actually, I feel sad for all those people outside of Blackness–whose negative stereotypes of African American manhood will prevent them from ever having the benefit of the warmth, love, and friendship of a guy like T-Mark or the friendly smile of a guy like his friend.

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 #929


The man in this drawing was sitting diagonal to me at the picnic style table where Eddie and I were camped out at the Hive. The man in this drawing was having an animated conversation with the woman seated beside me, and I liked that he kept glancing my way to see my progress on his portrait. When he got up and walked around me, on his way to the door, he paused to look over my shoulder; and when I looked up at him, he smiled. But he left before I had a chance to offer to send him the finished drawing.

Ajuan Mance