For the Love of the Black Man

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.

@necessaryblackness

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.

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15 comments

  1. themelanatedman · December 9

    Love your sketches!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tareau Barron · December 9

    Wow this is great. I even look like one of the guys sketches hahahahahah.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Darryl Walker Jr · December 9

    Kelley, you are amazingly gifted with these sketches! Wow! You did a wonderful job on these. I tip my hat to you for embracing black men in a civilization that degrades us – and then talking about the unity between black men and black women. Damn, this is the most visceral post I have seen on WP in a veryyyyyy long while. I love that line “invisible with all eyes on us”. That captures the BEING and struggle of black existence in one line. Absolutely brilliant. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tunisiajolyn84 · December 13

    Love, love, love! Love the art and viewing these pieces in real time on Instagram. Love the quote and the message. Love Black Men. Yes lawd!

    Liked by 1 person

    • kelley · December 14

      Thanks so much, Tunisia! You know I appreciate all the love you always give. Hope you’re well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tunisiajolyn84 · December 14

        No problem! And yes, I’m good. Hope you are too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jocquez McFayden · December 15

    I feel appreciated, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nosyjosie · December 29

    These are awesome! You are so gifted. I think I want to meet the guy in the 2nd row, 4th pic. And if he’s taken, I’ll take the one in the second to last row, 1st pic! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • kelley · December 29

      haha too bad I made this into a random grid! So I’m not sure what two you’re interested! I only know one of them in real life so I probably couldn’t help you anyway

      Thank you so much! I’m going to art more more consistently.

      Like

  7. alynlove · February 23

    This inspired me as a artist and a blogger. Thanks! And keep sketching!!!!☺

    Liked by 1 person

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