Spreading Black Joy

Students at Fairfield High School have been taking part in a community project entitled Black Joy Trail.

It has been created to give children the opportunity to learn, through a ‘lens of joy’, about people, places and stories in their neighbourhood.

 The six-week project’s aim was to enhance knowledge and widen students’ experiences beyond the stereotypical and thereby empower them to see themselves as ‘agents of change’. The following workshops formed the agenda: joyous words (poetry), joyous nature (horticulture), joyous entertainment (Ujima radio station), joyous technology (robotics), joyous food (cookery) and joyous art (mapping).

A pivotal figure in the project is Tanisha Hicks-Beresford, who says it strives to “redress what feels like a stream of negative stories in the news”, describing it as “bringing ‘black joy” into the classroom. 

“It’s not just about racism, there’s so much more to this world. You don’t want our students to come out and just feel ‘I’m oppressed’. They need to see themselves in the world,” she explains.

 Cashan Campbell, assistant vice principal of Fairfield and leader of the project at the school, adds: “The Black Joy Trail has been hugely successful in educating and inspiring our students as they’ve delved deeper into their heritage. I’ve had the pleasure of watching their confidence grow week on week as they’ve experienced a wide variety of workshops. 

`’Having lived in Bristol all my life it’s also meant a lot to me personally, as cultural exposure of this nature is integral to helping move Bristol forward in an inclusive and reparative way.”

@_joytrail  on social media.