Black Joy Parade

by Paradise Freejahlove Supreme

Black-Joy-Parade-women-dance-crew-wearing-Black-leather-022419-Oakland-web, Black Joy Parade, Culture Currents

We are children of the Sun.

So one of the first things the colonizers did all over the world, in Afraka, Asia and the Amerikas, was take down our sun symbols, to keep us from having knowledge of self.

We are batteries that are empowered by the sun. The sun is pro-Black. We don’t get sunburn or skin cancer. We are made of the same astroblack material that the suns, moons and stars are made of. We are one with the solar system.

From the sun comes all life on planet earth. Nothing on this planet exists without the sun. Like the birds do every morning, we used to sing praise and thanksgiving to the sun.

And so I wore attire that paid homage to the sun at the second annual Black Joy Parade and Festival in downtown Oakland on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24.

The weather was cold and slightly overcast, in the 50s – very much in need of more sun – but at least it didn’t rain. The chill didn’t dampen the spirits of the thousands of festival revelers, who are the descendants of centuries of what Gil Scott-Heron used to sing about: “Winter in America.”

As coal is condensed sunlight, and when you set it on fire it may burn so brightly that you can no longer tell that its origins are black, like the sun. But if you stand in the sun long enough, it will paint you black: The Black Joy that burns inside of us was all the sun we needed!

And every time I go to one of these events, like Festival at the Lake, Art & Soul, First Fridays Art Murmur, the Golden State Warriors’ championship celebrations and the Black Joy Parade, I see my Oakland Cultural World’s Fair taking shape.

We give thanks to the organizers of this splendiferous event, which had people coming from as far as Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Texas, Florida, Atlanta and Senegal, for bringing Black Joy to The Town!

Paradise is president of the International Black Writers and Artists, was honored with his own day, Oct. 6, by the city of Oakland, and may be heard performing at True Vibe Records Presents, Find him on Facebook at Paradise Freejahlove Supreme.