Earlier this year, the American photographer Adreinne Waheed (one of our earliest TRUE Africa contributors) asked me to write some text for her forthcoming hardcover coffee table book. She told me that the book, titled Black Joy and Resistance, would include images from AFROPUNK Brooklyn and South Africa, Carnival in Bahia, West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, the Fees Must Fall protest in South Africa, and the Million Man March in Washington, DC.

As a longtime fan (and supporter) of Adreinne’s work, which is mostly based on in-the-moment documentation drawn from her (many) transcultural travels, I was so excited by the idea of the publication—and the nearly 200 pages of both colour and black and white photography—that I interrupted whatever I was doing and immediately started typing the opening paragraph of my short essay into my computer.

“Who speaks for black people today?” I wondered. “Black people do. All over the world. Some of the most interesting new photography manages to document both the traditions and the changes on the African continent and in the African diaspora. When it works, it amounts to a precious survey on societies in motion, and the role black people are playing in shaping global culture, one local environment at a time. Some of these people are rebels, others are revelers, or just ordinary black folk going about their daily routines.”

High Vibration - This young man embodies joy as the sun sets on AFROPUNK Brooklyn, 2016
Black up! - Best friends all in at AFROPUNK, Johannesburg, 2017-18.
Black Joy is Resistance - The ultimate resistance is to be exactly who you are! AFROPUNK, Brooklyn, 2015
Sway - Flying and feeling free at AFROPUNK, Brooklyn, 2016.
Joy is Contagious - Music brings pure joy to these ladies at AFROPUNK Johannesburg, 2017-18.
Revel - A festive crowd spills over from J'ouvert at the West Indian Day Parade, 2015.
Machete and Serpent - A young man reps his native country Haiti at the West Indian Day Parade, 2015.

Black Joy and Resistance will be available on Amazon on the 21st of December.