The Beautiful Blessing Of Black Laughter

You deserve a good laugh. Throughout history, during times when many assumed our people should be weeping, we chose laughter instead.

The Beautiful Blessing Of Black Laughter
Via Unsplash

 When Black people laugh, it's a joyful, infectious, playful experience that's hard to ignore. For generations, laughter has been one of our most potent weapons.  Luke 6:21 reminds us that joy is necessary: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”

During the Civil Rights Movement, laughter carried our leaders through the adversaries they faced. Dick Gregory, one of the era's most famous comedians, was known for cleverly using humor as a catalyst for further exploration of the systems harming our community. 

Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott King, and Rosa Parks were all known to love attending his shows. Laughter has always been one of our most beautiful ways of refusing to be overcome with sadness and anger all the time. 

On plantations, laughing was restricted, forcing our people to contain their laughs in barrels. It was a form of social control meant to dehumanize and police Black joy. 

Right under oppressors' noses, we were cracking jokes, often mocking enslavers, with things like the cakewalk dance. Humor was embedded in our folktales and hymns, functioning as a form of safety and survival that allowed us to vent while being in solidarity. 

Our laughter is beautiful. It's spiritual. It's love and community. It's a form of sonic rebellion that challenges the acoustics of anti-Blackness. It is a blessing, and it is ours. 

Nothing nor no one can contain or stop our joy. Laugh as loudly and smile as widely as your spirit can muster today. 

You deserve it. 

We have a quick favor to ask...

We hope you're enjoying PushBlack Spirit! Spreading the truth about Black spiritual practices and history is just as important to you as it is to us.

And as a small non-profit, we need your support to keep spreading these important stories.

With as little as $5 a month, you will support our tech and writing costs, so we can reach even more people like you. It only takes a minue, so will you please donate now?