Glenn Ligon has long investigated the relationship between image and text, race and identity. Untitled (Hands/Stranger in the Village) features an excerpt from “Stranger in the Village,” a 1953 essay in which the late African American writer James Baldwin reflects on the year he spent living in a small town in Switzerland. This text is superimposed on a photograph taken during the Million Man March in Washington, DC, in 1995. In Baldwin, Ligon found a writer who spoke directly to his own experience of isolation and displacement as a gay black man. Yet if Baldwin functions as a point of identification for the artist, the opposite is true of the Million Man March. Organized by Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, the march, with its emphasis on patriarchy and heterosexuality, served to affirm the value of black men but was widely criticized for the invisibility of black women and queer black men. Ligon transferred the excerpt from “Stranger in the Village” to canvas using stencils and coal dust, a byproduct of crushed coal often used to sandblast buildings. In addition to serving as an artistic material, coal dust functions here as a symbol of racial prejudice. It also purposefully obscures the Baldwin text, underscoring the precarious position and visibility of black people in American life.