How We Started...
"Black Joy Is My Protest" is not only the name of an in-person exhibit, it is also a motto and lifestyle that was ignited by the 2020 virtual exhibit that Jennifer N. Shannon curated titled: "REVOLT: Black Joy Still Exists and It Always Will."
After the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, Jennifer decided that Black people needed to see themselves as the joyous, loving, talented, creative, intelligent, spiritual people that they are, which is contrary to what the media has portrayed. Therefore, Jennifer put a call for submissions for poetry, art and photography out on Instagram and Facebook to be a part of REVOLT, and the response was amazing.
The REVOLT exhibit featured 13 artists from across the country, including Tyrone N. Manning who is now co-producing the in-person event. REVOLT showcased poetry and photography and demonstrated black joy as a source of resistance which penned the phrase "Black Joy Is MyProtest."
To create momentum for this upcoming event and to assure that this theme of Black Joy is represented well, we promoted the event and had awesome results. Take a look at the video of the 2022 artists, samples of their work and stats and testimonials from the exhibits...
Jennifer N. Shannon is a new mom, writer and artist currently living in Laurel, MD. She has published three books and has had poems, short stories and essays published in literary magazines such as North Dakota Review, Deep South and Auburn Avenue, an anthology titled: tender: a literary anthology and book of spells: evidence and exhibitions both online and in-person. In 2021, Jennifer was selected to attend the Hurston/Wright Foundation Writers Weekend for Fiction and received three grants from the Maryland State Arts Council for independent artists—including the latest awarded on January 31, 2022 to fund the in-person “Black Joy Is My Protest” exhibition in Maryland.
Jennifer is originally from Cheraw, South Carolina, and has used her experiences growing up in the deep south to influence her artistry. Currently she is working on a novel that is set inBaltimore in the 1940's.
Tyrone N. Manning is a creative soul—a content producer, DJ, designer, marketing professional and new father! Born and raised in Jersey City (NJ), he has always been involved with the arts!
During his time at the NJ Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), he co-produced the Sonic Superstars DJ series which featured D-Nice, Pete Rock, Prince Paul and others. As the Director of Marketing at the Arsht Center in Miami, he orchestrated ArtsLaunch, a free open house event for the community that drew thousands of attendees each year. Last year he curated and moderated “Songs of Freedom The Remix,” a conversation about the role of music in social justice movements. When he’s not producing events or penning social media content for his clients, you can find him strolling around the neighborhood with his son!
And if you haven't figured it out yet, Jennifer and Tyrone are best friends, a couple and are deeply in love with their new baby boy and life together!