Feb 28, 2023

Black Art: In the Absence of Light- Trailer


Hey, this doc inspired me today to draw like I haven't in a long time. If you haven't seen it, check it out!!

Te gusto? Check out my last inspiration board 

Feb 27, 2023

Black Is Beautiful 2023 - Charles Johnson


Charles Johnson was born in 1948 in Evanston IL. At an early age he showed an interest in drawing. He began his career as a cartoonist in high school drawing as a student of Lawrence Lariar. He won two competitions for his work from Columbia Scholastic Press. An adult discouraged him from pursuing art primarily so he went to school for journalism, continuing to draw, and pound the pavement in NY to get gigs. In that time while working for Chicago Tribune he saw a talk by Amiri Baraka and was inspired to do more cartooning about Black history and to reflect the times. He then worked Ebony and Jet magazine publishing cartoon strips and illustrations. 

I picked up his book "All Your Racial Problems Will Soon End" and was inspired by the drawings he'd done in the 70s. But he didn't stop there. Inspired by a friend he took creative writing and continued his college education earning a doctorate in Philosophy. Johnson would go on to write for papers like the NY Times and the Wall St Journal. But he also began writing novels such as The Middle Passage, King, and Soul Catcher. He became a professor of creative writing at the University of Washington for more than 30 years. He wrote over 20 scripts for TV, he was awarded by the MacArthur Genius Award, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He's a buddhist, and is still writing as we speak. 

Sources: The Belief Agency, Wikipedia, oxherdingtale.com

Dig this? Check out my piece about Ruth Carter and Robert Sengstacke Abbott

10 Years of Revision Path!!!!


Ey, we gotta give big props and credit to Maurice Cherry who has spent the last decade researching, contacting, featuring, interviewing Black designers and artists. I started listening to the show off and on when my friend Qa'id Jacobs was a featured guest(2016). I knew Qa'id from Brooklyn and was astonished at the time to see a podcast dedicated to Black artists and designers like this. It did NOT exist back then. But folks Like Andrea Pippins, John Jennings, Kimberly Bryant, Goldi Gold, Craig Brimm, Gabriele Smith, and Dawn Okoro were working HARD even back then.

If you're interested in architecture, graphic design, illustration, UI UX, etc go to the website and listen to some of these episodes. LINK

Listen to this episode about the history of Revision Path where he breaks down some of the hardships he's faced over the years and some of the triumphs. Thank god he has kept it going! 

Thank you Maurice!!! Who himself is a great designer. This is his company.

Dig this? Check out Black Work Talk podcast or these Business Podcasts

Feb 26, 2023

African American Read In week- Tacoma Public Library

This past week myself, Tyrah Majors, Leonard Williams, and Parable Tacoma had a panel discussion about our work, diversity and books, and we read a few exerpts from our stories. You can visit Tacoma Public Library online here. BIG shout out to Mejin Turner, Kelsey King, and Kim Mose who are the librarians who invited us to speak!! I met these folks last summer at the Seattle Urban Book Expo.

Here's the original flyer:

Dig this? Here's a video from a literacy presentation I did with Sacramento's Sol Collective


Feb 24, 2023

Drawing From Black History- Berkeley Ca Feb 25th


Yo! I'm going to be at Berkeley Public Library tomorrow at the central/downtown branch drawing and talking with artists Avy Jetter and Fred Noland. We'll be joined by two esteemed librarians as well. Ms Elaine Tai and Erica Glenn. This is an all ages event so come through with your shorties, your grandma, and yourself. 


From the library: 

February 25, 2023 - 3:00pm-5:00pm 

Join Bay Area artists Rob Liu-Trujillo, Avy Jetter, and Fred Noland for a creative celebration of Black art and Black history. We will begin with an artists' panel, where each of these artists will share about their professional artwork and process, and show a brief demonstration. This will be followed by an art activity where kids (K-8), teens and adults can learn from these artists and express their own creativity!

  • Artists' Panel and Demo at 3PM
  • Art Activity at 4PM

This event is for grades K-8, teens, and adults. All materials will be provided. It will take place at the Central Branch on the 5th Floor, Art and Music. Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library. 

Dig this? Check out the art of Fred Noland and Avy Jetter

Feb 22, 2023

Black Is Beautiful 2023- Dr. Muriel Petioni

Dr Muriel Petioni was known as the "mother of medicine" in Harlem. Born in 1914 in Trinidad she migrated to the US with her family. Her father worked hard to bring his family to the US, attended school, and became a doctor. She followed in his footsteps becoming a practicing physician for over 40 years with a degree from Howard University. She worked at various hospitals throughout the south before returning to NYC to start her own private practice which involved caring for poor and working class families in Harlem. She saw patients and made house calls, often addressing the entire person's health, not just one ailment. She started the Friends of Harlem Hospital and helped to get 2 million dollars for it. She was on the board of the greater Harlem nursing home. She helped mentor others through the Dr Susan Smith McKenney Steward Medical Association. She was awarded by the Harlem Hospital Center, the NYC Coalition of 100 Black Women, CUNY, The Schomburg, and by her alma mater Howard. Dr Petioni passed away in 2011 at the age of 97. 

Sources: NAACP, Harlem Cultural Archives, NY Amsterdam News

Dig this? Check out this one about Dr Dorothy L. Brown or Alice Augusta Ball

Feb 10, 2023

Black Is Beautiful 2023 - C.R. Patterson & Sons


Check this out. Did you know there was a Black owned automobile manufacturing business? I didn't! C.R. Patterson & Sons was founded by Charles Richard Patterson. Born in 1833 into slavery this brother escaped and made his way north to Ohio. There he began working as a blacksmith honing his skills to make horse carriages. In 1873 he linked with J.P. Lowe started a joint horse carriage business. In 1893 they parted ways and he renamed the company C.R. Patterson and Sons which he ran with his son Frederick (1 of 5 kids). They repaired carriages and cars at first then debuted their first car in 1913. Between the years of 1893 and 1939 they would make coupe's, trucks, busses, and at one point had 28 types of horse carriages. C.R. passed away in 1910 his son Frederick kept the business going. They had several employees and a thriving business but could not compete with larger companies such as Ford, and once the depression hit they were one of many small companies to fold. Imagine what it would be like if they had the resources to continue?! Although there are no intact C.R. Patterson and Sons vehicles left they were pioneers from from Greenfield Ohio.

Sources: BlackPast.org, Wikipedia, The Big Car Channel

Dig this? Check out these pieces about race car drivers Cheryl Linn Glass and Willy T. Ribbs

LLAG Radio - Art Nelson Concordia interview


This is a really great interview with educator, activist, and dad Art Concordia Nelson about his work in Ethnic Studies. He has been a teacher in schools for over 20 years, was instrumental to the fight for ethnic studies in San Francisco public schools, Ethnic Studies as a requirement for all California high schoolers, and is now working on a program in Santa Barbara.

Some of my favorite topics he brought up in this video are:

  • Ethnic Studies going from the margins to the center and the attacks that come with that
  • Why Ethnic Studies and Critical Race Theory are under scrutiny and threat
  • How race was invented to divide people
  • The path of inquiry to understand systems
  • The experience of working with young people and the responses or questions they have
  • Anti Oppression/ Anti Racism
  • Sorting neighborhoods into workers, managers, and owners
There were more gems but heres a good quote: "Ethnic Studies is history from the perspective of racialized communities of color"

Dig this? Check out my last Ethnic Studies in Every School painting and the Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies

Feb 9, 2023

Reflection Press Crowdfund- The Gender & Infinity Book


Hey, my folks Maya and Matthew of "Reflection Press" just launched a new kids book project! It's called the Gender & Infinity Book and it's a story/guide for all children.

Go to the campaign with THIS LINK

All the good info you need to know about the project is on their site, but I';; just say that these two have been doing pioneering work to develop stories, art, books, curriculum, and games for all people to enjoy, but especially for gender fluid and Queer kids and those who support them. Feel me? 

Right now you got mayors, governors, etc actively trying to criminalize young people who identify outside of Boy or Girl, or who are Queer. For no more than fear and ignorance. So this work is serious for those kids and families who are going through it and looking for more tools to reflect with and to share. 

Again, check out their project HERE and spread the word to open minded people.

Dig this? Check out this organization that is putting more Lgbtq/Queer stories into schools

Feb 8, 2023

Virtuous Con- Virtual convention Feb 25-26th


Hey folks, I'm going to be a virtual vendor at the third "Virtuous Con". I'm excited to participate, check out the panels, and to interact with attendees. Once you register for this event you'll be able to virtually interact with the different creators and vendors. More info and registration here.

What is this?
Virtuous Con is a company created by Cerece Rennie Murphy that produces and hosts virtual events, as a vehicle for independent science fiction, fantasy, and comics creators to grow an audience for their work. Each event venue creates an authentic experience for attendees including virtual “booths” for vendors to interact live with attendees about their products and live panel rooms to interact in real-time discussions. Murphy created Virtuous Con out of a need to help many of her BIPOC creative colleagues and friends whose businesses were disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Dig this? Check out this virtual panel I did as one of the organizers of the Social Justice Children's Book Holiday Fair

COVER REVEAL for my new book "Fresh Juice/ Jugo Fresco" !!!!


Yoooo! I can finally share it. Here is the cover for my newest picture book "FRESH JUICE" which debuts on July 25th through "Lee and Low Books". You can preorder it today in English or Spanish. https://www.leeandlow.com/books/fresh-juice Juuuuuuiicccced!!!

This is a father and son story about fruits, veggies, ginger, health, and community. Please share!

From "Lee and Low Books": Today we're celebrating the gorgeous cover for our upcoming picture book, Fresh Juice by Robert Liu-Trujillo—available in English and Spanish (as Jugo Fresco) on 7.25.23! Both editions are available for pre-order now (bit.ly/3RMiy6A).✨
About Fresh Juice:
What makes a great juice that keeps everyone healthy? Art and his dad discover it takes carrots...collards...cayenne...and community!
When Art's father can't get over a cold, Art knows exactly what his daddy needs: some delicious sick-fighting juice! After looking through the fridge and cupboards, they discover they're missing a key ingredient--ginger. But finding some ginger will take them downtown, to the farmers' market, to the food co-op, to the West African grocery ... to an unexpected encounter that brings everyone together, and results in a tasty celebration.
Author-illustrator Rob Liu-Trujillo's warm and vibrant watercolor illustrations are a celebration of mixed families and the many individuals who help make a neighborhood feel like a community. Fresh Juice is a delightful, kid- and community-centered picture book that will leave you thirsty for more!

Dig this? Check out the announcement from 2019!

Shout out to editors Cheryl Klein and Kandace Coston, Art director Chad Beckerman, the whole Lee and Low Books team, and my agent Marietta Zacker!

Feb 6, 2023

Inspiring Artist - Cymone Wilder


Thank god for Maurice Cherry who has done so much work to highlight Black designers, artists, and creatives with his work. I just came across Cymone or "Simon and Moose". Wow, what a breath of fucking fresh air it is to see this person's work. She is Amazing. 

What's this bruh? This is where I share artists that have been inspiring to me in my work sometimes directly and other times indirectly. Check out Cymone Wilder's website here. You can see the many clients she work with , her personal work, merch, and more. Wow is what I keep saying to myself.

I haven't highlighted that many type artists or designers who work with letters but I will do that more because I pull inspiration from them as much as I do illustrators or muralists. Cymone is someone you should watch and follow. Like now, do that now. Here is her IG.

You can read an interview she did with the Nashville Voyager (where she's based) and get a sense of what makes her do what she does. Stay tuned for more.

Did you catch the posts I made about these other amazing artists?

Creative Mornings presentation!!!

Dig this? Check out my last inspiration board here.

Feb 5, 2023

Black Is Beautiful 2023 - Margaret Sloan Hunter


Margaret Sloan Hunter was born in Chattanooga Tennessee in 1947. She grew up in Chicago and started a career in activism early. As a teenager she joined the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE). She co-founded a student group called The Junior Catholic Inter-Racial Council to get Black and White students her age to unite. She then joined the SCLC or Southern Christian Leadership Council. She then gravitated towards spaces where women could construct their own organizations free from male domination even within movement circles. She was a driving for for the creation of Ms Magazine (1st national magazine on feminist viewpoints) in 1971 becoming one of the first editors. She spoke around the country and internationally, linking up w/ other Black women who identified as such and as feminists to found The National Black Feminist Organization. She moved to the Bay she helped to found the Berkeley Women's Center and the Feminist School for Girls. She was a mother, a poet, singer, author, and a self proclaimed Black Lesbian Feminist. 

She spoke about coming out as being a Black Lesbian Feminist saying before she identified as a feminist or a lesbian she believed some of societies stereotypes, and the ignorant things people say. She wanted to put some of those preconceived notions to rest and when speaking about popular media that she felt starved for representation of women like her: " I think the future is visual, I think we can read it, see it in our minds". She died in Oakland California in 2004.

Sources: Black Women Radicals, Lesbians-The Invisible Minority, SF Gate, Feminist Majority, Wikipedia, BUST

Dig this? Check out these illustrations of the UK's Olive Morris , Denise Oliver-Velez, and Claudia Jones

Some process shots:

Earn Your Leisure - Police Brutality, taxpayers, insurance companies


Follow the money. There's more to it than just racial hatred, and historic oppression even though that is the factual root of policing in the United States. Here, the good brothers over at Earn Your Leisure break down how insurance companies are making bank off of police brutality cases through cities such as Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Chicago. 

Here in this video they go into further detail about some of the major banks and corporations profit off of police brutality and how cities ear mark or set aside a certain amount of $$$ YEARLY for police murders, brutality, and settlements. Peep this article how corporations financially support cop unions.

Dig this? Heres a portrait of Huey P Newton (co-founder of the Black Panther Party), Brutality over the years

Feb 3, 2023

Feel Good Hour w/ Farbeon

Yo, i'm excited to be a guest on the "Feel Good Happy Hour" w/ my bro Farbeon (MC/DJ/Educator). I'll be on next week on Friday Feb 10th. My dude hosts this show where he interviews artists, musicians, and educators about what they do, music they like, and what makes them feel good.

TUNE IN: On Bonfire Radio to hear it

Stream it here:  

Dig this? Check out this episode of Rightnowish

Feb 2, 2023

Black is Beautiful 2023 - Nelson Vails


Welcome to Black Is Beautiful 2023! My first pick for the year is Nelson Vails, a pro cyclist from Harlem NYC. Born in 1960, he began riding a bike as a kid and received his first track bike from a member of a motorcycle gang. Eventually he grew into it and not only became a NYC bicycle messenger but would ride in central park before and after work to train. He joined the TOGA racing team named after the famed NYC bike shop and then made the move to live and train in Europe and Japan. Nelson was known as the "cheetah" and became the 1st Black man to win an olympic medal for cycling in 1984. In 2009 he was inducted into the Bicycle Hall of Fame and has many accomplishments, He speaks 5 languages, is an innovator of cycling equipment, been sponsored by companies (Raleigh, Rensho, Rapha), produced a documentary about his life, and has served as an advocate for cycling for youth. Salute to this OG of cycling!

Dig this? Check out this post about Justin Williams, L&M Tourers, or Greg Liggins

Sources: NelsonVails.com, The Cheetah Documentary, Rapha, Wikipedia