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 Danyel Smith’s Shine Bright, a historical account of Black women pop artists such as Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and many more. Blending personal interviews with a critic’s eye, music journalist Smith explores her own “very personal history” with these memorable women, some of who are celebrated, some overlooked, but all are worthy of recognition for their creativity, ingenuity and influence on pop music as we know it.
Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!