I draw manga, which I have studied in Japan and produce in English and Japanese. I aim to increase Black representation in the form and teach workshops on manga and Japanese storytelling. Using the university as a platform, my events and classes are open to the community. I am designing a manga production course for UIUC which will be the first of its kind in the United-States.
My current project is a bilingual manga that imagines Black potential in a world where race doesn’t exist. Azuki is about a little girl who is a Rock, Paper, Scissors champion. Pitted against a cast of tough, male opponents, Azuki only plays scissors, but always wins – speculating Black girl magic in a world without impediments as the universe bends toward her will. Azuki imagines a Black character at once in a conspicuously Japanese setting, and an ambiguous anational space – combining the cultural transnationalism of the Black manga movement with the concept of a borderless society and a world of humans unimpeded by the construct of race. The plot’s absurdity is a reminder that these ideals are still a fantasy and there is work to be done in establishing bridges and abolishing systems.