Category Archives: Berkeley

1001 Black Men #931


This is a portrait from the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, at Berkeley City College, in Berkeley, California. I saw this man and his friend walk past, and I had the same thoughts I have every time I see an African American man or boy with the hood on his sweatshirt pulled up on his head; I wondered how anyone could think this man was dangerous, and I hoped he got home safely, that night and every night. After all, an awful lot of people are afraid of Black men, and scared people with guns have ended an awful lot of Black lives.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #918


On the day of the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, a young Black man who appeared to be about 14 was exiting the library with his mother. Hi mom seemed to be in a hurry, as she quickly made her way out of the venue. To leave the library, they had to pass through the zine fest, and I watched as the young man looked longingly at the brightly adorned and enticing tables of art, homemade zines, and indie comics. She seemed to be very focused on leaving, but I wish she’d let him browse around the fest, for just a few minutes. The work he would have encountered just might have blown his mind; and he might have gone home to begin drawing his own zines and comics. I wish his mom would have let him browse, if only for a few minutes. I would have liked to have shown him some of my 1001 Black Men.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #905


My love of barbecued ribs is second only to my love of buffalo wings, and I crossed paths with this brotha during a recent trip to Smokey J’s Q House, on Shattuck Avenue, in Berkeley, California. The background in this drawing is based on one of those old-fashioned picnic tablecloths. Smokey J’s uses no such decor, but their food makes you feel like you’re eating at a classic old-time barbecue hut. I recommend the ribs and the chili. My main criticism of the place is that they have no iced tea.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men #812


Time for more drawings of the brothas of the 2014 comic and zine circuit. I chatted with this guy at the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest. He didn’t buy anything, but we had a nice talk about the comic book he would like to see me draw next. He was not at all shy about sharing some suggested directions for my upcoming works.

To him I say, “Homie, if I ever do a comic with Frederick Douglass as a time-traveling, light saber-wielding civil rights activist, you will be the first to know!”

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#659



Ever since I completed my Black Santa ‘zine, I’ve been hyper aware of those older brothers who have Black Santa potential. This man was shopping at the Berkeley Bowl on one of those warm pre-Christmas shopping days that blew through the Bay Area last week. He was wearing a dark v-neck T-shirt that showed off his impressively muscular upper-body. If Black Santa was a body builder, he’d probably look like this guy.

Ajuan Mance