Artist Ajuan Mance shows the beauty and complexities of 'Living While Black'
Did you know KALW is member-supported public radio? When you make a donation to KALW you’re financially supporting the programs you love and you become a member of this station. We can’t do shows like Crosscurrents without the financial support of our listeners. You make it all possible. Become a member today! And from all of us, thank you!
In 2018, a white woman called the police on an eight-year-old Black girl for selling bottled water in San Francisco. That same year, a similar situation happened to Black men barbequing at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. There are many stories throughout American history of Black people subjected to racial violence for doing everyday activities.
We need more of us out there writing Blackness or drawing Blackness as we see it. We each see it and experience it a little bit differently, but almost all of us see it with love and appreciation.Ajuan Mance
In Ajuan Mance's "Living While Black," the Oakland-based artist creates humanizing portraits that celebrate Black people while also providing a timeline to show when Black people have been arrested, attacked or murdered while doing everyday, ordinary things. Ajuan Mance is a professor of English and Ethnic studies at Mills College and is an instructor in the Illustration and Comics programs at California College of the Arts.
Click the play button above to listen to this interview.