Ghanaian American agender illustrator Annabelle Hayford (Abelle for short) started the 48-hour hashtag event #DrawingWhileBlack on Twitter (that extended to Instagram and Tumblr) to celebrate Black illustrators. They scheduled it to begin Friday, September 15 and end Sunday September 17, but it's still going strong. Because although the entertainment industry's hiring practices might not reflect this fact, there is a full spectrum of beauty being created—and a full spectrum of skills available—from artists across the African diaspora.
Abelle set only five rules:
1: Be Black (this includes Black people who are also mixed)
2: Be an artist (no, you do not have to be a professional)
3: Post 2–4 examples of your work
4: Use the hashtag #DrawingWhileBlack on any social media platform
5: Have fun
The artists who participated (many of whom are queer, many of whom are women) work in comics, zines, illustration, animation, video game development, concept art for television and film, and sometimes simply for the joy of it. Here are 25 highlights from the still-growing gallery of radiant Blackness this hashtag brought together:
…And Abelle themselves!