Project Name: The Omnipresence of Black Joy

Project Description: The Omnipresence of Black Joy (OBJ) digital project is a timely expansion of a concentrated, one-year, multi-phased project, launched in September 2021, that included a 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) presentation, Blacktivate Joy, that won First Place at Florida State University and took second place at the state of Florida competition, a TEDx FSU Talk entitled Granny’s Garden: Growing Black Joy, and an international panel discussion for the 2022 SoundWalk September Global Festival entitled Black Joy is a Stride: How Movement Moves the Message.

This new project will work closely with a team of undergraduate research students – Teya C. Mosely, Michelle S. Gunn, Ashley E. Powell, and Simone M. Eloi, from Florida State University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program to create a website that features scholarly articles, blogs, and interviews about Black Joy. The data gathered from this digital project will help to provide transformative knowledge that disrupts the deficit narratives that have traditionally been the undercurrent of research regarding Black women.

The OBJ project represents “a process of being in service to political and social change on behalf of communities that one represents and is responsible to” (Dillard, 2008, pg. 65). As a Black woman with a master’s degree in Public Health and soon a doctorate in Art Education, I developed this scholarly, arts-based project to enhance the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social well-being of Black women both in and out of the academy.

In addition to creating a website about Black Joy, OBJ will:

  • Support the development of an innovative, interdisciplinary Black Joy curriculum that braids public health, art education, and civic engagement, as well as
  • Provide a digital space of Black Joy that encourages Black women to remove the metaphorical cape associated with the multi-generational narrative of being the Strong Black Woman.

Dillard, C. (2008). When the ground is black, the ground is fertile: exploring endarkened feminist epistemology and healing methodologies in the spirit. In Handbook of critical and indigenous methodologies (pp. 277-292). SAGE Publications, Inc., https://www.doi.org/10.4135/9781483385686

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To view the Academic Love Letter to these Black Joy research mentees, click here.

To view the quick summary of the Omnipresence of Black Joy study, click here.