The themes of the issue on which my piece is focused are around bringing voice and visibility to two groups that were marginalized within the gay community of the 1990s (and which continue to be marginalized within the queer/trans community of the 21st-century), women and people of color. In addition, the issue addresses the political impact of the recovery movement on LGBTQ activism. My piece depicts a small group of queer folks whose intersecting identities locate them in two of the marginalized communities this issue of OUT/LOOK addresses (they are Black and lesbian), but who experience the serenity prayer as a call to action.

The Other Black Power

2017, digital print, 22” x 28” framed


Ajuan Mance is a Professor of African American literature at Mills College and a lifelong artist and writer. Ajuan’s comics and zines include Gender Studies; The Little Book of Big, Black Bears; A Blues for Black Santa; and the 1001 Black Men series, featuring images from the online portrait series of the same name. Ajuan has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as comic and zine fests from the Bay Area to Brooklyn. Her scholarly writings and art explore the relationship between race, gender, and representation, specifically as it applies to people of African descent in the U.S. Ajuan is partly inspired by her teaching and research in U.S. Black literature and history. Her most recent book, Before Harlem: An Anthology of African-American Literature from the Long Nineteenth Century, was published in 2016.

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Made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Also supported through UCSC by the Arts Research Institute, Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence and Dickson Emeriti Professorship Award

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    Homepage Image Credit
    Queer Nation kiss-in at the cable car turnaround.
    © Rick Gerharter
    San Francisco, 1991.