African American Tag

Independent Black Creatives-VIDEO


I had the great opportunity to speak on a panel of Black authors in the Bay Area moderated by Robert Mossi Alexander and featuring Khalid White, Tamara Shiloh, Ralonda Cunningham, Kadija Phillips,  and myself. We talk about our books, how we got into book making, and our plans for the future! Please watch and share with up and comers!

Blaxican Sticker

The first time I heard the term “Blaxican” was from journalist and writer Walter Thompson. I’m not sure if he coined the term but he put together a project called “Blaxicans of LA” that made me feel seen. I grew up seeing these Black and Mexican folks, their parents, kids, and their families. It’s not a secret that Black and Brown folks have been making babies for ages. From California to the South, the midwest and the East Coast.

For this image I thought it would be dope to juxtapose Papel Picado (historic Mexican art form ) with an outline of the continent of Africa where humanity originated. If you’re Black and Mexican please let me know if I did this justice. If you approve please cop two. One for you and one for a friend. Thanks for reading. Just out here trying my best to make work that means something to me culturally.

3″ x 3″ Paper Sticker
Cop one HERE

Blasian Sticker!

Yo! Super excited to make and share this with you. This is a term I’ve heard used for at least 10 years to describe an esthetic, couples, children, and people. “BLASIAN” or “Black” and “Asian” to me represents families and people who share both Asian and Black heritage. They could be specifically North American, but I believe the term could apply internationally to these mixed kids. Being a mixed kid myself (Black, Korean, Mexican, Apache) I identify with this term and hope you can share it with others you feel would love it.

If you’d like to get one COP IT HERE.

Stay tuned for more and please check out my Self Care stickers if you missed em.

Afros – Coffee Table Photo book

This is a dope book by photographer Michael July self published around 2014 I believe. 

There are many shots of incredibly beautiful people in this book from all over the world who just happened to be on the planet Brooklyn for awhile.It was a humid and rainy day in Brooklyn. I was painting murals on plywood with my crew “Trust Your Struggle” at Afro Punk Festival. I think it was 2008 because it was before our US Mural tour. Michael came up to me and asked if he could shoot me adding that he was working on a book about “Afro’s”. It’s so great to look back at this time, living in Brooklyn was a beautiful experience. This festival was like none I’d ever experienced.
I encourage you to get the book, check out the photos, read the intro by scholar Li Sumpter, and the quotes about the beauty and pride in our hair.
Here are a few more shots:
Blue Nefertitti

Cody Chesnut

Li Sumpter

Terence Nance


Did you see my post about Jamel Shabazz or Roy DeCarava?

Camp Atwater – Black History Month

Last summer I heard about Camp Atwater-a historic piece of Black and American history. I was driving through LA listening to Code Switch. Episode “Summer Vacation” spoke about people of color in the outdoors, the damage the sun can do, and this camp. 
Camp Atwater was founded in 1921 by Dr. William DeBerry. He purchased some 54 acres of land in North Brookfield Massachusetts. That’s roughly the size of two baseball stadiums! Dr. DeBerry was was part of the Urban League in Springfield (MA). The Urban League is an organization founded in 1910 in NYC to fight for the rights of Black folks in the US. DeBerry, who was also a pastor helped get a chapter going in Springfield where a sizable population of Black folks had grown. As part of the great migration of Blacks from the South to northern cities. Anyway, Black folks could not send their children to camps owned by Whites. So DeBerry founded Camp Atwater, previously called “St. John’s Camp” after the local church. 
Atwater is the oldest Black owned camp for Black children in the US. They have a time slot during the summer for boys, and one for girls. Kids come, and stay in cabins. They get three meals a day, and the hang out, do activities, have fun. Atwater has offered archery, baseball, basketball, Black history, chess, creative writing, drama, fencing, fishing, football, hiking, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, and more. Swimming stuck out to me because like the camp’s Black folks often didn’t have access to pools back then. Camp Atwater was set on the shore of a lake and they made sure youth knew how to swim! 
Being in existence this long makes me wonder what kind of organization, project management, bookkeeping, conflict resolution, and grit it has taken to keep it open for nearly a century! On their site you can read more about them and I highly recommend listening to the CodeSwitch episode which interviews former attendees and talks about the economic mix of kids. I would love to hear how they are welcoming or being open to transgender Black kids who don’t identify as Boy or Girl. . But, BIG shout out to Camp Atwater for making building a sanctuary. And big shout out to Outdoor Afro who has reignited a long tradition of Black folks getting outdoorsy and new to the outdoors Black folks together.

If you are new to my blog, my name is Robert Liu-Trujillo. I’m a father, husband, and an illustrator from the Bay Area. I love hiking, camping, backpacking, and I even did some fishing with my grandparents as a kid. For this image I wanted to focus on some of the activities the camp has offered while also giving a feeling of being outdoors. I also have been painting and drawing images for Black history month for the last three years. 

Sources: Codeswitch NPR Podcast, Camp Atwater, Urban League of SpringfieldBlack Past

Word to Inkwell, someone needs to make a movie based on this camp! A documentary or narrative!

Some other I’ve painted for Black History Month over the years:

Elizabeth Catlett-Artist
Steve Muhammad-Martial Artist
Roxanne Shante-MC/ Rapper
Roy DeCarava-Photographer
Memphis Minnie-Blues Musicians
Blake Brockington-Trans King
Shine Louise Houston-Queer Adult Filmmaker

Tandem-Black History Month book picks!

This is a photo of my good friend J reading to children at Tandem! J used to be an elementary school teacher and now works for Tandem which seeks to improve the reading level of children of color in the Bay Area, and its working.

So I was asked by Tandem to go through their many many books featuring all kinds of people and pull out some cool ones to share for Black History Month. I chose five books to talk about and this is one of them. Here us an excerpt from the blog post about the books. Please go to TANDEM and read the rest!

“This is just the kind of everyday life book that I love, with beautiful and technically precise illustrations. It follows a little boy and his momma as they walk, stomp, and run through their neighborhood. It is awesome to see the mother and son relationship as the mother loves her son and plays with him. It shows imagination as the boy imagines things on their path. Its not about a historical figure or a painful African American experience, it is about a day in the life and kids need to see that ease, that love, and happiness.”

Black is beautiful (2017) 7- Bessie Coleman

Bessie has the unique distinction of being the first African American woman to be a licensed pilot. Bessie was born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas. She first became interested in flying around the time of World War 1. She wanted to fly but was denied because of race and gender. So, on the advice of others she went to Paris France where she obtained her pilot license and in 1921 the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded her a pilot’s license. She came back to the U.S. as the first to do  what she did and was greeted with respect and admiration. She began performing as a pilot in air shows known as barn storming. She also was invited to speak to schools and groups across the U.S. about her experiences. She died in a plane accident in 1926, but inspired many women of all kinds to become pilots. 
Sources: Black Wings-Von Hardesty , PBS,

you can purchase this original painting $40 (includes shipping) 8″x8″ mixed media on paper. Please email at

Array & CAAM

Please go see Ashes & Embers in the theater or watch it on Netflix. This is one of Array’s (formerly Affirm) first films for “Array Classics” which is an effort to restore and redistribute films from the past that either did not get the attention they deserved, or need to be revisited for new audiences. I include myself, because I’ve never seen the film either. Pass it on. 

In case you’re in the Bay Area and you’re not hip to CAAM, it is an annual film festival held in SF and other cities in the Bay highlighting and showing new films by Asian and Asian American filmmakers from across the world. This year greats like Ang Lee will be there, alongside new directors such as Sanjay Patel of the Oscar nominated “Sanjay’s Super Team”. Go check out the films and the live discussions w/ the filmmakers.