With support from the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia’s Porch Light program and the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, the Black Paradise Project is partnering with Black-owned businesses, organizations, and individuals to host monthly joy-based events.
Spaces are created for Black people to experience relief through self-care. Upon the conclusion of these joy-based events, imagery and survey responses from these experiences will be used to develop a Philadelphia mural that will communicate the power of Black joy in the face of racial oppression.
The Black Paradise Project was inspired by the historic Paradise Park, near Silver Springs, Florida. Paradise Park was an all Black resort and a haven for the Black community from 1949 to 1969. The park provided refuge to vacation and cope with the harsh racial violence occurring at the time.
Fifty-two years later, the Black Paradise Project aims to provide spaces for the same reasons. Created by visual artist Yannick Lowery and counseling psychologist, Dr. Kimberly Marie Ashby, the Black Paradise Project aims to mitigate the mental health consequences of exposure to racism by providing opportunities for Black people to share their experiences and engage in joy.
For more information on upcoming events, to take a survey on the mental health effects of racism, and to find mental health resources, visit blackparadiseproject.com or call (833) 4 THE POC.