Category Archives: Shopping

1001 Black Men #679


I like using floral backgrounds for the men that I draw. For example, the vintage roses in the design of this wallpaper remind me of the historical context to which each of my drawings is a response. In addition, the flowers both refer to and offer contrast with the setting in which I saw the subject of this particular drawing (Home Depot).

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#603


On Saturday morning, my fabulous partner and I headed out to Livermore Premium Outlets with nothing but our wallets. We emerged a couple hours later with six pairs of shoes. Oddly enough, I wasn’t really planning to buy any shoes at all. I am, however, happy to say that those six pairs of shoes cost us less than we would have paid for three pairs at the normal retail price.

I haven’t made many mall trips in the last few years, and I haven’t purchased any new shoes since 2011. On Saturday, though, we immersed ourselves in the entire all-American shopping mall experience. We strolled, we browsed, and we even had lunch in the food court. There was a Japanese food stand that was handing out delicious samples of stir-fried chicken, and we chose to eat there.

The man in this drawing was in line right behind me at the food court. This was an interesting coincidence, given that I could count the number of Black people I saw at this mall on my fingers and toes. This is not to say that the crowd was not diverse. That’s one of the interesting things about the San Francisco Bay Area. There are so many different ethnicities present, that even in the absence of any one group, non-white people still might outnumber their white counterparts by a large margin. That seemed to be the case at the Livermore Premium Shops.

I chose to include this guy in the series because he was one of only two Black men I saw during my entire shopping trip (and I only caught a brief glimpse of the other man, out of the corner of my eye). The man in this drawing was also an interesting subject because his mustache and beard, the hair on his head, his eyes, and his skin were all different shades of the same color brown, kind of the way that a Crayola crayon and the paper wrapped around the crayon are basically the same shade, but rendered in different textures and different levels of saturation. It would not be entirely inaccurate to say that if this man was object, he would probably be a crayon.

Ajuan Mance