Art Direction & Editorial ︎︎︎

black joy archive v.ii (2022)

What does Black Joy mean to you? Is it a form of resistance? Is it a form of healing? Is it a form of preservation? The first edition of Black Joy Archive was created as an urgent call amidst the global racial reckoning of 2020. Two years later this project’s intention remains the same — to amplify stories, connect community and reject racialized pathologies that continue to flatten the varied experiences of Black livelihood. But since this project’s initial release there has been a cultural shift — with questionable moves of allyship being presented by corporate entities, capitalistic industries utilizing taglines such as “Black Joy” for commercial profit and the overall anti-racial fervor that ignited non-BIPOC individual’s that summer of 2020 now debatably apathetic. Although we should not dismiss the social progress made within the last two years alone, we cannot forget that this confrontation of anti-racist sentiment has coexisted with national campaigns against critical race theory and the continued politicizing of the Black histories and black peoples humanity.

Volume II of this project asked contributors to consider  — how can we continue to persevere? To push against the noise, the trends and expectations in order to uplift our own narratives? More importantly — what does Black Joy look like to you now?

black archive v.ii features stories, poems and images by 27 contributors. The book and website were designed utilizing fonts by Black type designers, with a color palette that references to The Negro Motorist Greenbook. Two book iterations, a website redesign and other collateral were produced with the advisory support by Shiraz Gallab and funding through the award of the SPUR Grant from RISD’s Research Office. One book version was another collaboration with Secret Riso Club, in which all the interior pages were printed with kelly-green ink, the covers letterpressed by DWRI and spiral-bound locally in Rhode Island. This version serves a similar function as the books produced for volume one, in that they are a limited run of 50 only being pressed once. The second book is printed with a print-on-demand manufacturer, which allows for more copies to be made accessible on the ready.

Contributors were each asked to write a response to these questions, with portraits of some folx being captured by Jaleel Marques Porcha. Whereas volume one fulfilled a type of urgency required and appropriate for the moment in which it was made, volume two was an unhurried reclaiming of time, space and energy.

Web Development by Jesse Hoyes
Web Content Entry by Francesca Bueno
Copy Editing by Jen Liese
Photography by Jaleel Marques Porcha
Printing by Secret Riso Club
Advisoring by Shiraz Gallab
Launch Event hosted by the Ace Hotel Brooklyn
Event Photography by Nik Muka