Black Joy

In a June 2020 Washington Post perspective piece, Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts writes about a powerful moment in her everyday life when she and her 8-year-old daughter got caught in a rainstorm. In the midst of and despite all that 2020 was, and what Black life is every day, Lewis-Giggetts’s daughter burst into a goofy dance. Lewis-Giggett soon followed, then they both burst into uncontrollable laughter.   

Lewis-Giggetts contemplates what that burst of joy really meant. She writes that it was more than just a release from pandemic stress and casual racism. That joy was “a necessary form of resistance because it clearly punches the lights out of the pervasive dehumanization we encounter every day,” and it “illuminated just how powerful and healing black joy can be for black people.”   

Lewis-Giggetts has expanded that powerful vignette into a full-length book about Black joy. The picks below include that title and others that highlight the joy, comfort, love, creativity and other positive experiences that are integral parts of the full humanity of Black lives.   

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Black Nerd Problems

A collection of pop culture essays that mix social criticism with the ravings of true pop culture nerds.

What the Fireflies Knew

A coming-of-age story told by 10-year-old Kentatta Bernice after her world is turned upside-down by her arrival at her grandfather’s house for the summer after her father’s death.

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

Torn between finding an answer to her aunties’ title question and finding herself after the surprise of being laid off from her banking job, Nigerian British Yinka starts volunteering at a homeless shelter and starts coming into her own.