Viral* as in… flourishing, expanding, energetic, fervid, aggressive, growing, thriving, vigorous, zealous, amplifying, augmenting, budding, burgeoning, sprouting, growing, spreading, swept. (if something is viral, it cannot be: contained, controlled, stunted, static)
2020 has been a year and it isn’t even over. First and probably most significantly, we have experienced a global viral pandemic, which disproportionately affects Black people. We are watching the burgeoning of national protests for Black Lives, with every state and every major city engaging in action to amplify the experiences of Black people. Tik Tok has grown and Black people continue to create viral challenges (It’s the ___ for me; Don’t Rush challenge, etc.). Tabitha Brown’s energy, her family, her vegan cooking, and “her business” has swept through the country and into over 3 million people’s homes. Cardi B and Megan thee Stallion amplified Black women and femme sexuality with W.A.P and caused a viral stir about sexuality, agency, and women’s rights.
We’ve also lost so many Black people. We’ve lost them to the pandemic, to gender-based violence and transphobia, to physical and mental illness, to deportations, and police and state-sanctioned violence. We’ve seen Blackness exploited, co-opted, cat-fished (or Blackfished as some may call it). We’ve seen the story of Meg thee Stallion and Tory Lanez creating divides amongst us in how we respond to violence against Black women. We lost a Black superhero, Chadwick Boseman, someone who shifted Black culture and gave so much of himself while battling cancer.
And in the midst of all of these things, there have been moments of Black joy, while also mourning and honoring black lives – reminiscing, singing, and dancing along with Versuz. Joining along with sprouting indoor and outdoor Black gardens. We laughed and kept it two virgils with folks. Over the course of this year, Blackness has proven to be viral, in that it’s not static, it cannot be contained, stunted, or controlled. It is expansive, thriving, energetic and unapologetic.
Join Angela and Chaniqua as they discuss ideas for submission and what Viral* Blackness means to them, and how you might find what it means to you.
Exhibit Opening Featuring Scholar-Activist Yaba Blay
Join the Women’s Center and the African American Cultural Center for the Viral* Blackness Exhibit and Zine opening. This opening is dedicated to all participants and those interested in what it means to be Black and experience Blackness in this new decade. Yaba Blay, scholar-activist, content creator, cultural consultant, and the creative mind behind #PrettyPeriod and #ProfessionalBlackGirl will join us.
Yaba will discuss "Black Joy as Resistance" and how we can use her example and create Black joy wherever we are and whenever we need it. We will also take a look at the submissions and hear discussions and readings from participants.
Opening Exhibit Feature and Musical Selections
Songs that capture the essence and complexities of Blackness; this playlist was compiled by artists of the NC State Women’s Center and African American Cultural Center’s 2021 Spring Exhibit entitled Viral* Blackness.
Experience Viral* Blackness
Collective Consciousness Vision Board workshop – March 4, 2021
Existence as Resistance: The Magic in Blackness – a Women’s Center curated exhibition of NC State students, staff, and faculty creatives who took an Afrofuturist lens to create radical Black futures for themselves and viewers.