Black joy is truly radical. Sometimes we focus on the bad so much that we forget the beauty in the things we see every day. For me, this is a common occurrence. My work forces me to see the problems that society has on a daily basis. If I cannot see these problems then I cannot do my job effectively. If I can not do my job effectively, then I cannot contribute to the liberation of Black people, or so I thought. We must remember that Black joy is radical and a means of liberation. It is radical because even when faced with daily oppression, Black people manage to find a way to thrive and prosper. If that is not radical, then I do not know what is.

Black joy is laughter. It’s smiling even in the face adversity. It can be seen even on the darkest nights and shines brightly on the sunniest days. It is abundant when expressed as Black love. Black love knows no bounds. It is present even in the face of hate. It devours hate and transforms it into love. Black joy is vibrant. It is the silver lining in the clouds after a storm.

Black Joy is family. Black joy is brotherhood. It is knowing that on your worst days you have support. It is knowing that even when the system is trying to bring you down that family is there to bring you back up. Black joy is reciprocal. It is knowing that when someone helps lift you up you have a duty to help others be uplifted.

Black joy is truly resistance. At every turn, we as Black people are challenged. Systems are created to bring us to our knees but yet we still stand proudly, as a form of resistance. Black joy says no matter how many times you try to bring me down, I will stand up again. I will stand up to tear down oppression. I will stand up to tear down sadness. I will stand up to fight for what is right. Black joys states, “No matter how many times you try and bring me down, I will stand up.”

Mayowa has a passion for social justice and addressing health inequities. He earned his Masters in Public Health from the Boston University.