We're all familiar with pain, but few groups are as intimate with it as Black people. This pain — and close relationship with oppression — hovers over our lives, especially in a time when law enforcement is systematically slaughtering our children. However, a compelling Instagram project is reminding Black folks that finding and hoarding joy is important, too.
It's called #TheBlackJoyProject, conceived by writer and dreamer Kleaver Cruz. The 27-year-old activist started photographing fellow activists, writers, and other dope Black folks about six months ago, asking them one question: How do you define Black joy?
"Choosing to enjoy yourself is actually resistance," the New York-resident explained. "If we're existing in a world that tells us we shouldn't be good enough, enjoying our lives in spite of that is an act of resistance."
He came to this conclusion a few days after Thanksgiving when he woke up feeling burdened and heavy. He realized his activist work and some personal matters had taken a toll on him emotionally and physically.