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In Conversation with Frank X. Walker
In BLACK JOY: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration (Feb. 1, 2022; Gallery Books), critically-acclaimed author, born-and-raised in Louisville, Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts delivers a timely collection of intimate, uplifting, and powerful essays that will recharge and invigorate you. As a contributor to Tarana Burke and Brené Brown’s New York Times bestselling anthology You Are Your Best Thing and a professor of English and Black studies at Community College of Philadelphia, she celebrates Black joy as a tool for personal and collective healing, whether racism is conquered or not. Unlike happiness, which is fleeting, Black joy is ever-present yet oft-overlooked, rooted in self-compassion despite a world all-too-ready to criticize Black folks. Discussing family, romance, motherhood, ancestors, faith, and much more, BLACK JOY is a truly transformative way to restore your spirit.
“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 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
“Black Joy is a necessary testimony on the magic and beauty of our capacity to live and love fully and out loud.”
“Evocative, honest and beautifully written, Black Joy is a balm to the soul.”
—Bernice L. McFadden, author of Sugar
Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts is the author of fifteen 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.
The first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is Professor of English and African American and Africana Studies and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where he founded pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. He has published eleven collections of poetry, including his latest, Masked Man, Black: Pandemic & Protest Poems, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, which was awarded an NAACP Image Award and the Black Caucus American Library Association Honor Award. He is also the author of Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, winner of a Lillian Smith Book Award, and Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride. Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets. A Cave Canem fellow, his honors also include a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry.
A timely collection of deeply personal, uplifting, and powerful essays that celebrate the redemptive strength of Black joy—in the vein of Black Girls Rock, You Are Your Best Thing, and I Really Needed This Today.
When Tracey M.