By Diana Zhu
DAVIS – Normally held on the main quad during the spring quarter, this year’s UC Davis Black Joy Fest, presented by the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center (CCC), continued its celebration of Black joy, accomplishment and legacy with a week-long virtual festival filled with contests, prizes, arts and crafts, games and laughter.
Black Joy Fest began during the spring of 1971 under the name of Black Family Day when students from the Black Student Union held a barbecue on the quad.
Their intent was to celebrate themselves and to take a stand against the historically and culturally exclusionary ideologies on campus.
In 2019, after consulting with current students, the student committee in charge of Black Family Day rebranded the event to Black Joy Fest to better encapsulate the spirit of Black joy for the current generation and to extend Black Family Day to an entire week.
Every year marks a monumental step towards Black empowerment and strengthening of Black communities.
Over the years, Black Joy Fest has hosted countless lectures, speakers, entertainers, groups and vendors to celebrate the achievements of the Black community and to educate others about contemporary issues, such as the initiatives of legendary civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou.
Friday was Black Joy Fest’s Stand-Up Comedy Night, hosted by Ọgọchukwu Agali.
Agali is the program coordinator and is associated with UC Davis’ Black African Diaspora and UC Davis’ Indigenous Community, but Black Joy Fest hosts Olivia Taylor and Yanie were the main hosts for the evening.
The evening was filled with a compilation of short skits from various comedians and special clips from Netflix stand-up routines from famous comedians, such as Trevor Noah and Tiffany Haddish.
While the routines were based on having an understanding of Black culture, they were tastefully curated in a manner that anyone with a sense of humor could relate to.
UC Davis’ Cross Cultural Center held four weeks of virtual events throughout the spring 2021 quarter for each of their culture days, and last week was dedicated to Black joy.
UC Davis’ Black Joy Fest was the last of their 2021 culture weeks, but the CCC hopes to continue its tradition of celebrating all students at UC Davis, from all colors and creeds.
Diana Zhu is a fourth-year transfer student from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. She is majoring in Chinese and minoring in Professional Writing.
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