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With deeply personal and uplifting essays in the vein of Black Girls Rock, You Are Your Best Thing, and I Really Needed This Today, this is “a necessary testimony on the magic and beauty of our capacity to live and love fully and out loud” (Kerry Washington).
When Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts wrote an essay on Black joy for The Washington Post, she had no idea just how deeply it would resonate. But the outpouring of positive responses affirmed her own lived experience: that Black joy is not just a weapon of resistance, it is a tool for resilience.
With this book, Tracey aims to gift her community with a collection of lyrical essays about the way joy has evolved, even in the midst of trauma, in her own life. Detailing these instances of joy in the context of Black culture allows us to recognize the power of Black joy as a resource to draw upon, and to challenge the one-note narratives of Black life as solely comprised of trauma and hardship.
“Lewis-Giggetts etches a stunning personal map that follows in her ancestors’ footsteps and highlights their ability to take control of situational heartbreak and tragedy and make something better out of it….A simultaneously gorgeous and heartbreaking read” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
About the Author
Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts is the author of eighteen books, and the host of the podcast HeARTtalk with Tracey Michae’l. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Essence, Oprah Daily, and more. Follow her on Twitter @TMLewis.
“A loving homage to all members of the African diaspora who strive to preserve their personal joy at all costs… Poetic… In a nod to the significant strength and bravery of those gone before her, Lewis-Giggetts etches a stunning personal map that follows in her ancestors’ footsteps and highlights their ability to take control of situational heartbreak and tragedy and make something better out of it… Hoping that readers embark on a quest for their own joyous preservation, she leaves us educated about the process and ready to work on the self-healing we all require… A simultaneously gorgeous and heartbreaking read.”
—Kirkus, starred review
“Black Joy meditates, and really levitates, the Black sensory and the Black sensual to stratospheric heights. Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts wields curiosity like a scalpel, revealing shards of liberation and unexpected heterotopias while loving us ferociously.”
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy and Long Division
“Black Joy is a necessary testimony on the magic and beauty of our capacity to live and love fully and out loud.”
“Black Joy is a vulnerable declaration and embodied affirmation of Black love, Black liberation, and, of course, Blackity Black joy!”
—Rachel Ricketts, activist & author of Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy
“Black Joy is a glorious gift to Black folks. Intimate, engrossing, and deeply resonant, Lewis-Giggetts' essays form a loving blueprint for healing and nourishing our minds and our spirits. An essential read for all of us who are trying to get free.”
—Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Finalist - National Book Awards 2020 for Fiction
“Evocative, honest and beautifully written, Black Joy is a balm to the soul.”
—Bernice L. McFadden, author of Sugar
“Ebullient essays showing how self-care and joy play out in the day-to-day lives of Black people… Lewis-Giggetts’ new tome adds a square to the quilt of Black radical imagination… Poetic and fun.”
“Expanding on the author’s June 2020 article about the personal and political power of laughing with her daughter, these 36 essays counter the narrative that Black life consists only of struggle and trauma.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“In an era that feels less than loving, Lewis-Giggetts reminds us that we have always been more than fighting against the forces that seek to undermine us. We have always possessed the paths to our own healing and light.”
— WJLA-TV’s Good Morning Washington