May 24, 2024

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“Black Joy: An Aspirational Mindset – A Call for Creative Expressions”

3 min read

The upcoming Spokane Black Voices event is embracing the theme “Black Joy: An Aspirational Mindset,” inviting students to share their unique perspectives on the power of joy within the Black community. This theme encourages participants to explore and celebrate the diverse aspects of Black joy, highlighting its revolutionary potential and its intricate connections to freedom, resilience, and confidence.

The Power of Joy

For many, joy is more than just an emotion; it is a source of strength and resilience. The ability to find joy in the face of adversity is a testament to the power of the human spirit. In the context of Black joy, it becomes a force that not only uplifts individuals but also empowers entire communities.

Joy as a Revolutionary Act

Carrying a mindset of joy within the Black community is a revolutionary act. In a world where narratives of struggle and hardship often dominate, choosing joy challenges stereotypes and disrupts preconceived notions. It becomes a form of resistance, asserting the right to happiness and fulfillment despite external pressures.

Black Joy in Images, Experiences, and Dreams

Participants are encouraged to share images, experiences, activities, memories, or dreams that encapsulate Black humanity and identity. These narratives become a powerful testament to the multifaceted nature of Black joy, showcasing the richness of culture, heritage, and shared experiences.

The Connection Between Joy and Freedom

Joy and freedom are inherently intertwined. The ability to experience joy is a fundamental aspect of freedom, and conversely, the pursuit of freedom often leads to the discovery of joy. Black Joy, in its various forms, symbolizes the freedom to express, create, and exist authentically.

Sensory Exploration of Black Joy

What does Black Joy smell like, look like, sound like, and taste like? This theme invites participants to delve into the sensory aspects of joy, providing a vivid and evocative exploration of the emotions associated with Black joy.

Black Joy in Everyday Life

Black Joy is not confined to special occasions—it resides in everyday life. It is present in laughter, shared moments, and the simple pleasures of existence. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the everyday instances that embody the essence of Black joy.

Joy, Overcoming, Resilience, and Confidence

Explore the profound connection between joy and the qualities of overcoming challenges, resilience in the face of adversity, and the development of unshakeable confidence. Black Joy becomes a source of inner strength that propels individuals forward.

Developing an Aspirational Mindset

What does it mean to have an aspirational mindset, and how can one personally develop it? The theme encourages participants to share their journeys toward cultivating a mindset that aspires to joy, growth, and positive transformation.

Submission Guidelines and Details

The contest is open to current students within The Spokesman-Review circulation area, with a special emphasis on encouraging high school students to submit their creative expressions. Submissions can include essays, stories, poems, art, and videos/films, each reflecting the 

Theme of Black Joy.

The deadline for submissions is midnight on January 8, 2024. Entries should be emailed to SpokaneBlackVoices@spokesman.com with the subject line “SBV Submission 2024.” Submissions should include a third-person bio, including the title of the piece, pronouns, personal interests, and any other relevant information.

Selected works will be showcased at the third annual celebration of Spokane Black Voices on Tuesday, February 1, 2024, at the Northwest Passages stage at the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center Coughlin Theater, located at Gonzaga University. The event will commence at 7:00 pm, providing a platform for the community to come together and celebrate the richness of Black Joy through the creative expressions of its members.

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