The artist, Bisa Butler, creates quilts based on inspiration from archival photos that tell the stories of black Americans throughout history. Butler’s choice of subjects for her quilts include well-known historical figures, as well as every day men and women - all of whom have a story to tell. The fabrics that Butler chooses when creating her quilt portraits also tell a story. The man in I Am Not Your Negro is wearing bold colors and patterns to match his bold gaze directed at the viewer. This man seems to be unafraid to look the viewer in the eye, as if critiquing each of us and the nation that has failed to live up to its founding ideologies.