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Washington State University
College of Education

Guest Presentation — Amir Gilmore

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Guest Presentation — Amir Gilmore

February 3, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Sustaining the Joys of Black Boys and Young Men in a World Against “The Black”
Wednesday, Feb. 3 | 6:00 p.m. | via Zoom

What does it mean to be against The Black? The question serves as a reminder that Black people—in particular Black boys and young men struggle to exist as humans within a world where there is such a disdain with Blackness. In the wake of school surveillance, mass criminalization, and gratuitous state-sanctioned and anti-Black vigilante violence levied against Black boys and young men’s minds, bodies, and souls, I think about how precarious their joy is and its importance to their future. When so many people struggle to love Blackness, how do Black boys and young men find ways to cultivate and sustain their mattering, well-being, futurity, and joy? Black Boy Joy is a spiritual Life Force and a liberatory emotional expression that satisfies Black boys and young men’s desires through the desired-based refusal of anti-Black terms, codes, rules, and laws that subjugate them. Within these disavowals, Black boys and young men create spaces of affirmation where they are felt, heard, seen, and matter. Thus, Black Boy Joy desires to dismantle a world where denigrating Blackness is appropriate and creates territories where Black boys and young men can flourish in their humanity, beauty, and brilliance—immediately.