Why talk about Black joy for Black History Month? Because this month is SO much bigger than just revisiting trauma and oppression + the performance of valuing Black culture.⁠⁠

⁠It’s a celebration of US 🙌🏾✊🏾- individually and collectively, a time to find joy in the rich history of our culture, and ultimately the joy within ourselves.

“When you wish someone joy, you wish peace, love, prosperity, health, happiness…all the good things.”

Dr. Maya Angelou

During a time where the world feels like it’s upside down and the Black History Month shout-outs from brands and companies feel mainly lukewarm and thin, it’s more important now than ever to hold on to our joy individually AND collectively. 

“I’m a firm believer in interdependence and in living in the overflow,” shared one of our guest panelists, Erika. “We have to be able to authentically embody Joy for ourselves to be able to extend it, create it, + hold it with community in a sustainable way. 

So. We’ve got to be about personal healing.”

We welcomed special guests spiritual life coach + facilitator, Erika Totten; coach, cultural worker, and spiritualist, Hakim Pitts; master storyteller and creative historian, Dre Eastwood; and creative director, audiovisual artist, community social strategist, and dj Asia Horne to the discussion. 

Here are a few things we realized from our Black History Month #blkcreatives Twitter Chat – Holding On To Our Joy. 

May these notes support you on your own journey.

You get to define what Joy means to you – embrace how different it may look from the next person. 

Our special guest Dre, shared his definition as an extension of his creative expression: “These days it’s all about free human expression. The natural, unrehearsed beautiful shit that people do. 

There’s a certain level of comfort that comes with that freedom that you can’t help but smile at.”

black joy #blkcreatives Twitter Chat Dre Eastwood

Holding on to your joy = holding on to yourSELF. 

“What allows me to hold onto joy is being continually gracious, compassionate, and tender with myself. Having a soft place for /with(in) myself to land is KEY,” shared our special guest Hakim. “And in that soft place, joy seems to always abound.”

“Uncovering my joy came from a place of detachment and sadness in the journey of finding myself. I wanted to find something for myself. I needed to,” Asia tweeted. “Understanding joy is something I cultivate and keep for myself. That keeps me rooted because I want to keep it.” #blkcreatives

black joy #blkcreatives Twitter Chat Hakim Pitts
black joy #blkcreatives Twitter Chat Asia Horne

Joy, like any other practice, will require honesty. 

“Another thing I find helpful is being honest w/ myself when I can’t find/access joy and/or is NOT enough or meeting my need(s),” Hakim revealed. “That honesty helps me return to joy, which is such a treasure.”

“Because Joy is always right there – reaching for it/uncovering it has looked like:

A) being honest about the lies I’ve been socialized to believe about myself

B) Curating Joy for my community so we can amplify it!”
Erika tweeted. #blkcreatives

Standout Tweets from the chat below – need more inspiration for your personal and collective joy?

Follow our hashtag on Twitter.