With Black people under assault from a number of directions, discussions on joy seem to be a bit besides the point. However, we find ourselves needing to find coping strategies while we are constantly inundated with news about the latest incidents. With the issues of the day as the backdrop, the National Black Theatre kicked off its 48th season with a discussion about “The Pursuit of Black Joy” on Monday evening. Titled “The Alchemy of Black Joy, there was also an exhibit of images that speak to the theme of this season.
The panel consisted of moderator Geoffrey Jackson Scott, playwright Harrison David Rivers, and director Raelle Myrick Hodges. They talked about the forthcoming play “Sweet”, which is a story of two sisters coping with the loss of their mother.
During the conversation, some esoteric questions arose about the pursuit of Black joy and what it is exactly. It even ventured into the concept of joy as resistance to oppression. A notion, that considering all of the overwhelming news stories about Black life being snuffed out with impunity, is a welcome one. We need workshops about this, seriously.
The play “Sweet” opens On Wednesday, October 19th. To find out more information, visit the National Black Theater website.