PHOTO ESSAY: The Beauty of Black Joy

Explore the diverse manifestations of joy by the black community throughout New York City

Published November 27, 2016 4:59PM (EST)


I didn't set out to find Black Joy, rather Black Joy found me
I found it in the slight upward bend of a smile
The moment right before and after a breath
The spark in the eye
Black Joy
I found it when I went back for the photo that I almost didn’t take
Found it in that classy cool delight, that regal poise and grace
Black Joy
The warmth found me again and again
Black Joy
I am extremely honored and humbled that these beautiful humans have shared their joy with me
Awaken and share your refreshing creation of ebullience and wonder
Black Joy

Click the following photos to enlarge.

a·wake (əˈwāk/) - stop sleeping; wake from sleep.

e·bul·lience (iˈbo͝olyəns/) - the quality of being cheerful and full of energy.

grace (/ɡrās/) - simple elegance or refinement of movement.

tran·quil (/ˈtraNGkwəl/) - free from disturbance; calm.

cool (/ko͞ol/) - fashionably attractive or impressive.

at·ten·tiv (/eəˈten(t)iv/) - characterized by or giving attention; observant.

whole·heart·ed (/hōlˈhärdə d/) - showing or characterized by complete sincerity and commitment.

re·fresh·ing (/rəˈfreSHiNG/) - pleasantly new.

sol·ace (/ˈsäləs/) - comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness.

mirth (/mərTH/) - amusement, especially as expressed in laughter.

al·che·my (/ˈalkəmē/) - a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.

de·ter·mi·na·tion (/dəˌtərməˈnāSH(ə)n/) - firmness of purpose; resoluteness.

* The above photos and video below were part of a larger exhibition entitled "The Alchemy of Black Joy" which helped usher in the 48th season of National Black Theatre (located in Harlem, USA).

By Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper is a video producer for Salon. He's a creator infused with many passions and can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

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