I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan is about this 93-year-old creative wonder who skips and jumps in his heart like a child. He served in a World War II all-Black battalion and experienced the racism of the separatist Army and the carnage of D-Day. In response he dedicated his life to creating beauty and joy, spreading love and awe through his art. He's a poet/illustrator of over 50 children's books (30+ of which were published by Simon & Schuster's Atheneum Books), makes magical puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage. Ashley lives on the remote Cranberry Islands, Maine and has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith, and create loving community. The film explores his world from the time his father “was given the mop and the broom”, (a reference to the Gordon Parks photograph). He quotes Marian Anderson admonishing “to keep another down you have to hold them down, and therefore cannot … soar to the potential within you.” He spreads beauty through his linocut prints exhorting “Let My People Go”. His life story and the art he makes from this wellspring of experience is an inspiration to people of all ages.
Filmmaker in attendance.