Each day in November, I challenged myself to sketch the face of a beautiful, Black + bearded man. My strong suit is women’s fashion illustrations, but I wanted to attempt rendering men’s faces/expressions[they used to always look like women!], practice patience and brush up on my graphite skills. And there’s always growth when you step out of your safe zone, right? Can you tell which face was drawn first? Although they don’t all resemble their reference, I see the progression from day one to 30 and I’m proud! I hope you enjoy; I thought they were fitting for this entry.
Black men and Black women must remind each other how beautiful, necessary and valuable we are in the context of each other.
This is how we win.
When I think of the love I have for Black men, it brings a wide, genuine smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Black men have guided me through unexplored realms and taught me invaluable life lessons. They’ve been my strength, my solace. They helped mold me into the person I am as well as who I’ll become. Black men have had my back my entire existence. There are plenty that will disagree, but I’m certain quite a few Black women and men echo my sentiments that history has proven us as the best partners for one another. Be it lover, friend or both, we can and do truly empathize and, seeing that our trials and wounds are ofttimes identical, provide innate healing.
Black men + women share the role of outcast, scapegoat, bottom rung holder – simultaneously invisible with all eyes on us. When an entire world hates you, fears you, fails to mourn your dead body, then flips the coin + gladly rapes and envies the more desirable, naturally unattainable parts of you-where is home? Or, better yet, who is home?
Sadly there are too many of us being led astray and already too far gone, but my hope is to continue to help repair and strengthen the bond with those that see the power, essentialness and vitality of us, Black people, continuously building together.