Weekend Planner

Inaugural Austin event celebrates the joy of being a black boy

Inaugural Austin event celebrates the joy of being a black boy

Black Boy Joy
Black Boy Joy leaps into town this weekend. Courtesy photo

Black Boy Joy, an evening of artistic expression by men of color, is jumping into Austin on April 27. Part celebration, part social commentary, the free event is a joint production of Alliance for Boys and Men of Color Catalyst Fund at Community Partners and the Austin Justice Coalition.

“This event is a way for black youth and adults to find the black boy joy within themselves," explained Gaubrielle Pritchard, AJC board member and show organizer, in a release. "We want to continue the narrative that black men and boys are creative, meaningful, and wonderful.” 

In addition to 14 acts, the evening will be hosted by Mike James, and showcase song, dance, art, and spoken word by men of color throughout Central Texas. But more than just celebrating local talent, the evening spotlights the cultural narratives and stereotypes surrounding black men in America. 

“If you listen to what the mainstream media says about black boys and men you would think we are thugs who are hyper-masculine, so I want this event to showcase that we too have softer, vulnerable sides to us that can be expressed through dance and song, etc.,” said AJC's executive director Chas Moore in a release.

In addition to the talent showcase, the AJC will also announce the winner of its 2019 Art and Essay Contest, which asked local youngsters, grades third through eighth, to reflect the theme of "black positivity and expression." The winner will receive a $75 cash prize and a book of their choice. 

The event runs from 6-9 pm inside Huston-Tillotson University's King Seabrook Chapel. It is free and open to the public.