In homage to the radical power of art, Living While Black celebrates the small acts of resistance that comprise the daily lives of Black folks by presenting them in a series of vivid illustrations.
Laughing. Grieving. Being a kid. Even the purest expression of pleasure, the most human display of sorrow, or the simplest delight of childhood is an act of resistance if you happen to be Black. This immersive hardcover book features forty defiantly joyful illustrations by artist and educator Ajuan Mance, each artwork depicting a person of African descent going about their everyday business. Begun as Mance's personal response to the groundswell of Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Living While Black denounces the excessive surveillance, harassment, and violence aimed at Black folks engaged in the activities of everyday life—and celebrates the courage and resilience of the Black community. Fittingly, the book also features a foreword from Alicia Garza, BLM founder and principal at the Black Futures Lab. Mance's thoughtful meditation on what it's like to be Black in America makes a wonderful tool for teachers, students, activists, and parents navigating conversations about racism and resistance.
Ajuan Mance is a professor of African American literature at Mills College in Oakland, California. A lifelong artist and writer, Mance uses humor and bright colors to explore race, gender, power, and people, and the places in which they intersect. She lives in the Bay Area.