The Black Joy Project
The Black Joy Project
by Kleaver Cruz
Featuring 117 full-color photos and eight breathtaking essays on a force that fuels Black life all around the globe, this is Humans of New York meets The Black Book
"A patchwork quilt of visually stunning images, captured moments of triumph, antidotes to trauma narratives and rich, ebullient emotional and verbal spice for the soul." – Michael W. Twitty, culinary and cultural historian, and author of The Cooking Gene and Koshersoul
"In literature, there are some books that transcend mere pages and ink, becoming essential pieces of cultural expression. One such book poised to make its mark is The Black Joy Project…. This ambitious work breaks new ground." – Essence
Black Joy is everywhere. From the bustling streets of Lagos to hip-hop blasting through apartment windows in the Bronx. From the wide-open coastal desert of Namibia to the lush slopes of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. From the thriving tradition of Candomblé in Bahia to the innovative and trendsetting styles of Soweto, and beyond, Black Joy is present in every place that Black people exist. Now—at last—is a one-of-a-kind celebration of this truth and a life-giving testament to one of the most essential forces that fuels Black life: The Black Joy Project.
International in the scale, fist-raising in the prose, and chockfull of gorgeous works by dozens of acclaimed artists, The Black Joy Project does what no other book has ever done. In words and art, it puts joy on the same track as protest and resistance … because that is how life is actually lived. Uprisings in the street, with music as accompaniment. Heartbreaking funerals followed by second line parades. Microaggressions in the office, then coming home to a warm hug and a garden of lilacs. The list goes on.
Black Joy is always held in tension with broader systemic wounds. It is a powerful, historically important salve that allows us to keep going and reimagine new ways of being. The Black Joy Project captures these dual realities to incredible, unforgettable effect.
The brainchild of educator and activist Kleaver Cruz, The Black Joy Project is an extension of a real-world initiative of the same name. It has become a source of healing and regeneration for Black people of all backgrounds and identities. Long overdue and somehow still worth the wait, The Black Joy Project is a necessary addition for any book lover, art enthusiast, or freedom fighter. And begs the question, What does Black Joy mean to you?
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: December 19, 2023