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 Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor, a coming-of-age novel set in 1985 in the historically Black beach community of Sag Harbor, a village on Long Island. It’s summer, and Reggie is escaping his private NYC prep school to spend his summer avoiding his parents, listening to Lite FM (secretly), slinging ice cream, and generally trying to remake himself into someone different and cooler. Drawn from the author’s own experiences, Sag Harbor is a salty-sweet callback to the summers where nothing and everything seemed to change over the course of just a few months.
Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!