#BlackJoy: Slice of Life 4/31 #SOL20

AleciaShe walked onto the stage wearing a blue dress and attitude. She owned every bit of who she is – bold, bright, and black. Who could take their eyes off of her, suddenly beautiful? She paused, posed, and moved on.

Black student after black student followed, the bright colours of their outfits matched their smiles as they claimed their share of the spotlight. On this day, black students were the hosts, the performers, the designers, the readers, the models. At this assembly, everyone in the school saw them.img_0563

My heart nearly burst with happiness. They did this themselves. They applied for and won $1000 grant. They made many of the clothes from fabric they chose. They booked speakers and artists and prepared their own artistic performances. When a strike day forced us to move the date of the assembly and all – all! – of the guests couldn’t make it, the students planned the whole thing again in less than a week.

Working with these students has shown me their determination and their awareness of what they face because of their skin colour, has made me a better ally, has changed me in ways I never expected. The world had better get ready for these kids. They are coming and they are not interested in anyone trying to hold them back.

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26 thoughts on “#BlackJoy: Slice of Life 4/31 #SOL20

  1. Lovely post. “And a child shall teach them…” In this case several. The world at large is just beginning to learn and understand “Black Girl Magic” and it’s a beautiful thing.

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  2. Reading this and seeing your Instagram post about this amazing event and the phenomenons students is like getting a big hug. I love the bold fabrics, the beauty of these powerful young people. I’ve never understood how so many white people could look at Black people and not see beauty. It’s about time the world took not.

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  3. I have tears, Amanda! These images speak deeply to me. I see their pride, their clarity of purpose and all of their shine! Wow, what a thing of beauty! I just want to spend time with these pictures because they tell me so much about the people in them. I am so glad to know they have an ally in you who sees them farther and deeper than their last test, their last conflict, their last late assignment. So. Much. Power.

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    1. Oh, Sherri – you know, I trace a lot of this back to your call for us to write about race during this challenge last year. Something about writing that unstopped me – when the kids asked me to sponsor the club, I was able to say yes even though I’m white. They are just incredible and working with them is an absolute privilege. Thanks for being someone who spurred me forward.

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  4. This is so good and I love the photos too. It fills my heart with delight! Love their attitude and determination. One of our daughters is marrying a man from Kenya at the end of the year and we couldn’t be happier. Blackjoy is such a cool title!!

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