This 12 oz. matte black mug is an extension of the Five-Fifths piece we exhibited at St. Ann’s Warehouse and MoCADA’s Abolition House. The words are a reminder of the beautiful, strong, flawed, vulnerable people we are, while the blank acts as a prompt.
The “I Am A Man” sign that is synonymous with the fight for social justice is a response to America’s treatment of marginalized groups. It also directly addresses the Constitution identifying Black people as three-fifths of a human being, Jim Crow laws, and less formal methods of dehumanization.
“I Am A Man” comes from Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, Invisible Man. The full quote reads “I am an invisible man. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”
Man, woman, child, other, fill in the blank. We see you.