When I look back on all that's happened in 2016, I am overwhelmingly filled with rage and a sense of hopelessness. To say that this past year has left me, and many of my peers, feeling broken would be an understatement.
We've declared that #BlackLivesMatter, a sentiment rooted in the revolutionary efforts of past generations. However, we've experienced far too many instances in 2016 that've shown us that while there's been some progress, so much has undoubtedly remained the same.
We've continuously battled against efforts to brutalize and annihilate us, and then we've be forced to re-live that brutalization through the onslaught of clips that've gone viral and the re-emerged boldness of individuals working to disguise the hegemonic structures that've systematically disenfranchised black and brown communities.
How does one experience joy in a body that is constantly under threat? It's seemingly become more difficult to answer that question. However, what I am sure of is that black joy is about community. It's about unifying to promote love, self-awareness, self-care, and growth. And it's through black joy that we fight against hopeless and our marginalization.
Sometimes to experience black joy, we need to unplug. We need to fall apart. We need to allow ourselves time to process. But there aren't many spaces where we feel safe or liberated to do so. Safe spaces for blackness and black people that foster and allow us to collectively and individually embrace black joy are crucial and necessary.
So ultimately I — like @rikkibyrd, @egypt_jay, and many others — need to bring in the new year at #BlackMetropolis. Not just as a moment of celebration with #PartyNoire, but one of deliberate resistance. In choosing to create and embrace black joy against all odds, we began to see the beauty of and strength of our true selves.
I come to be healed. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾