Founded in 2020 by C. Joi Sanchez, the Radical Blacl Joy Gallery is a safe physical & metaphysical space that manifests the curatorial & archival goals of our founder. Created with the intention to encourage, nurture, honor, and empower the legacy & lessons of Black lives. A nod to my favorite Brooklyn rapper, my gallery project: The Radical Black Joy Gallery & Social Club is an idea for spaces created to center the liberation, empowerment, healing, and communion of contemporary Black creatives & entrepreneurs.
Our mission is to foster real celebration & contemplation of Black artistry and empower our communities with the tools and opportunities that every human being deserve.
As a Black woman, I have lived my entire life, constantly aware and remided of the disposability of my life. The constant danger that all of our lives are in at all times, no matter where we are in the world. While the pandemic raged outside, I lived in a place that was an amplification of all the worst parts of this world, specifically living within an environment of anti-Blackness... Where anything I did to mind my business and protect my peace was seen as an audacious and radical act of resistance. I never really got it, until this experience. I came to an understanding that white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and every other hateful thing descended from colonialism will never allow us to be humans just being. It will always think that it is owed for whatever it believes it has done for us to be allowed life. But that is not the truth...
[DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A DEFINITIVE ANSWER, JUST MY THEORIES DEVELOPED THROUGH ARTISTIC PRACTICE & LIVING BLACK LIFE]:
I grew up with jokes like "If you want to hide something from a nigger, put it in a book". I don't know who first said it. i know it became a truth becuase at some point in time it was illegal for people like to be be literate and/or educated. [It's harder keep those with knowledge of self enslaved.] In my theory of "How the world got so F*cked" I imagine a lot of it due to the dehumanizing circumstances these insisdious systems created for people, especially those of us blessed to be born Black.
Through a lifelong love and study of the literature, art & culture Black people have created and contributed to this world despite everything against us, inspired me to begin creating myself and curating the art of other Black artists. During the pandemic, nerd that I am, I went back to school to pursue a Bachelors degree in Sociology. While I have yet to complete that program, what I have learned so far inspired the thought that as artists [and Black people], we are sociologists by the fact of our survival as a people for so long. The fact that every day, some Black person creates a new way of survival, or a tool to navigate through and thrive in a world of anti-Blackness. The inherent knowledge of our ancestry, along with all the culture and innovation left behind by those who have walked this Earth, for me, is an indication that only by living our BEST lives will the world shift to include our humanity. Only by manifesting the possibilities of our community and selves, can we know what the world could be.
I consider how it took 4,000 ancestors to make me [and you], I can't help but walk in the assurance that it is on each of us is the wildest dreams of our ancestors. No matter our situation in life, we were born with more access, tools, knowledge, and freedom than any generation before. With this iteration of my curatorial practice, I hope to create spaces that honors all that Black people have been, are being, and could be.
The RBJ Gallery is centered around and primarily established for the preservation, protection, and empowerment of Black creatives & our work. We ask that you understand and respect this aspect of our space, events, and priorities. We welcome the support and patronage of accomplices and allies of all cultural, racial, ethnic, religious, gender & sexual identites. We do ask that you, as a visitor, patron, or participant respect the autonomy, agency, and energy of the space and all those within it at any and all times. We ask that you come with love and possibility in your heart. We thank you for any and all support.
Our programming and physical space is currently a work-in progress; lovely & welcoming in the heart of Brooklyn, RBJ Gallery is availble for rentals, small events, and artist class collaborations.
We are currently seeking artists to collaborate with in our space to host classes for our surrounding communities.
#thptcstlive every Friday night at 9pm in collaboration with Smokes And Jokes Comedy. RBJ Gallery hosts a comedy kickback & late night open mic.
Doors open at 9pm for food & fellowship. Live comedy and #latenightopenmic start at 10:30, limited spots available. Sign up list closes at 11:30pm. $5+ suggested admission, supports artistic & comicedic acts. Light food & drink refreshment served. Donations accepted.
Who is @RadicalBlackJoi ?
Get an idea about this up & coming artistic genius & tastemaker... Watch video of performances below:
@RadicalBlackJoi comedy at Starr Bar - April 2021