1001 Black Men #920


Last summer, the City of Oakland sponsored the first Oakland Book Festival. When I was invited to participate, I accepted right away. The event was free and it was in the center of downtown Oakland, a great place to spend an afternoon in late spring.

The Oakland Book Festival turned out to be a wonderful event. I had a great time speaking with the other sellers, and I really enjoyed meeting the people who attended the fair. The organizers did a great job of publicizing the event, and the result was a sizable crowd of Bay Area bibliophiles who were eager to spend money.

I was impressed not only by the size of the crowd, but by its diversity. There were a lot of Black people in attendance, both as buyers and sellers, and I was pleased that a number of the Black men in attendance let me take photos of them so that I could include them in the 1001 Black Men series, later on.

The man in this drawing was the first person I photographed. He seemed surprised that I wanted to do his portrait, but he was really quite friendly. I liked his open face and his geeky chic glasses, and I pretty much feel like any Black person at a book event is a potential best friend.

Ajuan Mance


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