I am so grateful to have learned about the “Black Joy Project.” They are a group that I would really like to work with one day. Just the idea of briging joy and fun into making art is right up my alley. Having gone through NCDA, outside of classes I had with Sasha, Tameika, and Jonathan, I didn’t always feel “safe.” I will say that I felt a sense of ease with other teachers, but not safe. Safe to explore within my emotional range. Sasha made each class I had with him welcoming and relaxed and open to discovery in what I was experiencing. Tameika’s class was very similar and she made me feel it was okay to cry and to release things I didn’t know I had been holding on to. Jonathan and I had plenty of conversations before and during the class process so he already had an idea of things that I was struggling with. The Black Joy Project made me feel like I was working with The Heritage Enseble or Tasha Smith. Just that cultural fun place. Being around my people for creating art is a healing and cathartic place to be in.
I am also glad they shared their resources of books they read while exploring the joy space. One of them was an immediate eye grab for me: “Pleasure Activism.” This book has helped me shift my mindset around the shame I feel and have felt in connection to sex for most of my life. I want to be able to have some more healthy conversations around sex this year, with family and close friends so I can feel liberated to be fully me.