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 Julian Winters’ As You Walk On By, a YA novel that meshes elements of The Breakfast Club (that title!) with She’s All That or Can’t Hardly Wait. Follow 17 year-old Theo as he works up the courage to ask out his crush, only to find out that he has a boyfriend! Over the course of a night at what was supposed to be a life-changing party, Theo tries to seclude himself in a bedroom upstairs to mope and dream, but is slowly joined by others who are hiding, or slowly becoming, who they truly are and want to be. Start for the romance, stay for the friendship!
Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!