Post #19- Moments of Black Joy and Lipstick!

February has a lot going on; Valentine’s Day, a bunch of Film festivals, and it’s Black History Month. A month to celebrate all the beauty of the Black Community at large whether that be through music or visual art or recognition of past and on-going activism. And while there is a plethora of historic figures we frequent at this time, there is also current moments of Blackness to celebrate.

In 2020, there were so many moments of trauma and hurt and misconduct towards the Black community worldwide, especially after the viewings and knowledge of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and even Regis Korchinski-Paquet in our own backyard, and many many…too many others. After tears, stress, moments in therapy that are still in process, my family and I decided to smile and enjoy us. It wasn’t an official meeting kind of decision, it was just us knowing we needed to smile again…or still…despite the continual barrage of negativity…so we smiled.

We continued with our walks, walks we took on the weekends after church when the sun was shining. We started them in the Spring soon after the first lockdown and they became a moment of solace for us and family connection. We headed down to the river to rediscover our own neighbourhood. We found beautiful moments of sunshine and flowers and creep-crawly bugs we didn’t know existed near our street. Ha! Imagine that!

We took pictures of ourselves and the deer we happened upon and let our melanin shine in the midst of pain, because God is still good and because our Blackness needed no apology, rather it was cause to celebrate. And yes we were just going to the Humber River surrounded by lush foliage, but Baby, any outing in the midst of a pandemic riddled with stress and trauma, is time for lipstick.

I encourage you to consider your moments of lip wear as celebration for the wonderful form of your body, the celebration of life, and the encouragement of joyful-on-purpose-FUN! These moments of joy did not stop because Summer ended and Winter came, nor should it stop when February leaves us and becomes March. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and worthy of love and celebration. Your lips deserve to wear that colour, you know, the one that you think is too bold or too red or something for you, wear that one! #WEARITLIKEYOUMEANIT.

Black History Month is intentionally celebrated during the month of February, but we can intentionally celebrate Black contributions all year-round. I do it by learning about Black Owned businesses and mentioning at least one lippy per post that comes from such a place. I do it by learning about my Black Culture here in Canada and the one from my Jamaican parents and those of my friends…no, we’re not all the same! We can celebrate and stand up against injustices especially when we spend our hard earned dollars and choose to support companies and initiatives that build up and celebrate how far we’ve come as a people group and as citizens of the world.

Below are moments of Black Joy I got to experience with my family, with loved ones, in the sunshine, in the city, in the forests, all while wearing great lippies. Some matte, some shiny, some transparent, all necessary! I pray they make you smile in the midst of your version of this current life we lead. I pray you learn about different aspects of Black History this year… all year. I hope you enjoy the notion that you and I will make history one day and that we might be the subject of study for future generations. My Love, Enjoy my version (and everyone else’s version) of Black Joy! xoxo!

Published by Temeka W.

Temeka Williams is a Toronto based 30-something-year-old Musician, Singer-Songwriter. She loves Jesus, Cheese, her friends and family, Aunty time with her niece and nephews, and colour in any form. If she’s not teaching ESL, she’s probably playing her guitar , writing a new song, or testing out some new lip-wear.

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