Our future depends on our joy of today. And defense or living a life on the defense - generation to generation, sunrise to sunset is exhausting. We must stop normalizing defense as an emotional state in which Black people have to reside every single day of their natural born lives.
Black Joy - is the final call (no pun intended) of resistance. Black folx are full of love, loyal to each other and are going to continue to be the full embodiment of what it means to be loved. We are grateful and we are going to celebrate our wins - large and small.
Black Joy without the presence of white people - is a demand of taking back what is ours. Black Joy feels like what freedom felt like to our ancestors when they spoke, danced and loved their way to liberation. What music feels like when there is a silent calm of non-verbal dialogue, just rhythm. We carry our subtle way of making light of life even though we are torn up inside. Even though we are walking trauma cases - we make light.
Some of the funniest moments I have are with a myriad of my friends - christian, muslim, jewish, buddhist, gay, straight, trans, married, single, working, giging, unemployed, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters - we can all sit together at the proverbial table and share stories - full of gut-belly laughter (usually The Great Spirit, brown liquor, cannabis gently placed in that order are involved). We laugh. We laugh at the absurdity of race, white patriarchy, white women, white unbehaved children, white immunity, their fragility theory, their gaze, Black folx, our gaze, our sex, our food, our education, our hips - our twerk.
What is so amazing is after we laugh, we feel better, we really do - and that trauma which was mentioned earlier - may still be present underneath the skin - but the joy, the true light of Black Joy remains. Unmoved, stable and loyal - in full resistance. Resisting that moment where we could totally lose it. Become unhinged and fall through the cracks as a result of the barbaric treatment of white people.
After those private moments with each other - when we go out there, there being outside “those doors,” we still speak to other Black folx - even though they were not present at that table. We know they’ve had their own tables and deep inside we’ve all shared the
the same tears
the same laughter - even if we are strangers.
We share a gaze that only we know. And whether we are in Chicago, Oakland, Harlem, Compton, Nigeria, Peru, Brazil, Japan, the UK, Paris, or even the moon - that gaze behind the eyes is the light. The light which peaks through the barrage of images of our people kidnapped and shipped to territories not of our own, witnessing live recordings of our people murdered by police, our people being lied on by white women, our people being torn apart physically and torched by white men on plantations / on the streets of today, our people being pushed out of our self-made businesses in Tulsa / media / anywhere - forced to begin again and again and again in and out of despair, joy and the brink of losing it all.
Beloved - we will never let that Black joyful light diminish ever again.
So, in support of and maybe in support of those befriended who’ve sat at our tables - we have a new Black Joy capsule hoodie collection designed by Ellington Bramwell) to be worn as a form of rest and repose for the people. For our people. Get one now online or in store.
Continue to shine,
Weléla Mar Kindred