A Weekend of Black Joy

By Tyrese Curtis

I found this event so inspiring and beneficial.

I thought the workshops that were hours long would be boring, but they were so much more than that.

My first day of workshops I attended a workshop called YouthLink Institute: Youth Programming at Centers and in Communities. Pretty long title, I know right? But it was so informative and there were so many great minds in one room talking about what programs they believe would help their community. Not only that but brainstorming on how to create your own programs, how to get benefits for your program, and why these things are so important. I even thought I might get a chance to take the offer to create my own program, which I would slay!

This was something I thought was more for adults but there was many youth in that room and to be able to be in a room full with people who know what they want and being able to take what they want shows that our youth are coming a long way. To not be viewed as only a youth, an activist, or even a person of color you can be whatever you want to be or do whatever you want to do because you have a community behind you.

Then the most wonderful thing happened. Todrick freaking Hall was there and it was AMAZING. Then the second best thing happen that same exact day I was able to attend a caucus called Black Joy as Radical Resistance: People of Color Caucus. It gave me so much to look forward to, there were so many people of color in the room and we all gave each other compliments and embraced our blackness. Before the caucus happened, four strong black youth were told the room was full and that they weren’t allowed to come in.  Instead of just being told they couldn’t go in, they found someone and said this is something I want to be a part of I want to go inside this caucus. The person was able to get us inside the room and everyone started to clap for the youth because they stood right in front of that room and expressed why they  weren’t leaving and why they wanted to be in that room. 

As we sat down and did introductions, we got into the program the first thing they asked us was, “what does black joy and radical resistance” mean to us. Everyone went around and gave me more and more reasons to love and be happy I’m a part of a community like ours. They had so many good words and phrases such as iconic, fabulous, ambition, twerking, unity, I woke up like this, shutting it down, and power. There were so many phrases and words I wish I could put them all here but this is what makes black joy and radical resistance one of a kind.

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