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Art and Culture

Reimagining Black Excellence: Maurice's Mission Through Art

“A cinephile and avid collector of baseball cards and comic books himself, James Jr challenges the false narrative of what mainstream power and beauty looks like by placing heroic Black icons and fictional characters in prominent roles.

His work provides a glimpse into an alternative reality where Black Culture and Folklore is American Pop Culture.”

Black Wall St. MediaContributor

Maurice James Jr.

self taught Contemporary Artist and Graphic Designer.

In the vibrant world of contemporary art, Maurice James Jr. stands as a self-taught artist and graphic designer whose work serves as a powerful testament to the intersection of culture, representation, and creativity.

Born in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Maurice’s artistic journey has led him to Washington, DC, where the rich tapestry of the city fuels his inspiration and ignites his passion for reshaping narratives through visual storytelling.


Art as a Catalyst for Change:

Maurice’s artistic mission revolves around intertwining iconic American pop culture references with impactful Black imagery.

His creations aim to uplift and celebrate Black Love, Black Beauty, and Black Power, promoting a positive narrative that challenges historical stereotypes.

Growing up in the Wynnefield section of West Philadelphia, Maurice was influenced by the lack of Black representation in the mainstream pop culture he consumed, from comic books to films.


Representation Matters:

The heart of Maurice’s work lies in portraying the splendor and strength of Black individuals while emphasizing the importance of Black representation in mainstream pop culture.

In a world where media often falls short in showcasing the diversity and richness of Black experiences, Maurice seeks to fill this gap by reimagining well-known pop culture moments through a lens of Black excellence.

Questioning Cultural Integration:

Using digital graphics and merging unconventional genres, Maurice’s art prompts viewers to ponder questions like, “How could Black folklore seamlessly integrate into comic book culture?” or “What if Black artistic genius was celebrated as a deity?”

By challenging the norms and blending elements that have traditionally been kept separate, Maurice creates a visual narrative that offers a glimpse into a reality where Black culture and pop culture are seamlessly intertwined.

A Personal Journey Reflected in Art:

Maurice’s journey as a young man in Philadelphia, collecting comic books and watching classic films that lacked prominent Black representation, informs the very essence of his creations.

His artwork serves not only as a form of creative expression but as a response to the void he experienced growing up, illustrating the potential for a more inclusive and diverse artistic landscape.


Creating a New Narrative:

Through his art, Maurice James Jr. strives to redefine the narrative surrounding Black People and Black Culture in the realm of pop culture.

Each piece tells a story, challenges preconceptions, and offers a vision of a reality where Black individuals are celebrated, not only for their cultural contributions but also as heroes in their own right.

Maurice James Jr.’s work exemplifies the transformative power of art to challenge norms, question representation, and envision a more inclusive future.

As a self-taught artist, he not only creates visually stunning pieces but also sparks conversations about the importance of diversity in the world of contemporary art.

Maurice’s journey, from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, reflects a commitment to bridging cultural gaps through artistic expression, leaving an indelible mark on the evolving landscape of pop culture.

Early 2021 BWSM came across some phenomenal artwork challenging the mainstream medias depiction of Black Women and a wholesale reproduction of Comic Book History as we know it, through 11:Eleven gallery. 

Join us on our first ever BWSM Podcast as we speak with Maurice James Jr., the Philadelphia born, Washington, DC based Artist and self proclaimed Activist.

James Jr. talks to us about the inspiration behind his artwork and why he has made it his mission to correct the Black narrative whilst documenting Black History, Black Love and Beauty

Find out more about 11:Eleven gallery @

Black Wall St. MediaContributor

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