In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books, all written by Black American authors, all of which celebrate and prioritize Black Joy. We’ll be featuring a title every day through the month of February.
Kleaver Cruz, creator of the Black Joy project, says that “Black joy is resistance. Amplifying Black joy is not about dismissing or creating an ‘alternative’ Black narrative that ignores the realities of our collective pain; rather, it is about holding the pain and injustices we experience as Black folks around the world in tension with the joy we experience in pain’s midst. It’s about using that joy as an entry into understanding the oppressive forces we navigate through as a means to imagine and create a world free of them.”
Today’s work is writer Jamila Rowser and artist Robyn Smith’s Wash Day Diaries, a graphic novel that follows four best friends through five interconnected stories as they live, love and support each other in the Bronx. An extension of an award-winning mini comic, Wash Day Diaries uses the varying rituals and routines of Black hair care as a means to explore each character’s struggles and triumphs, and how they grow and nourish each other along the way.
Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!