“There’s a narrative that exists about Oakland that is mostly not created by the people of Oakland. Art is our time to express ourselves from within. To say what Oakland means to us. To affirm and reflect ourselves to each other.”
Ajuan Mance is a professor of Ethnic Studies and English at Mills college. She is a lifelong artist and writer who creates comics, illustration and fine art pieces. We sat down for a backyard conversation with the artist to discuss the importance of representing the diversity in Blackness. Ajuan’s new series of work #whileblack highlights the lack of space there is for simply being a Black person in the world. This work is on view now at the African American Art & Culture Complex in a exhibition titled Black Art from the Edge of the Universe.