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  • Writer's picture@ Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

Black Man of Happiness

Updated: May 16, 2021

Boys in False River, Louisiana in July 1934 (Photo by Alan Lomax) Lomax Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division


My friend and former colleague, Peter J.Harris, an American Book Award winner, writes about the power of images in his book of historic and contemporary photographs, See You: Emanating a Sense of Joy:

“After watching a human being, an American citizen, a Black man, suffocated under a cop’s knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, what is the value of a book featuring glorious photos of Black men and boys emanating a sense of joy?

“. . . Smiling at these photos, laughing at these photos, smiling and laughing WITH these joyful human beings, absolutely ignites a gratifying implosion. Absolutely ignites that cascade of brain chemistry and visceral response, which restore or revive our inspiration and motivation to ACT with ethical determination and discernment as citizens.”

Please support his Black Man of Happiness Project at

Stokely Carmichael (l) with Jack Crawford during the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) voter registration campaign in Lowndes County Alabama. LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division/ (Photo by @ Douglas R. Gilbert , 1965)


Listening to the radio in front of a Harlem shop, 1930s, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library


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