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Black Man Of Happiness Project

By Blog Master
Posted: 10/14/2022

On November 4th at 10am Pacific, Poet Peter J. Harris will discuss See You: Faces of the Black Man of Happiness, a four-part creative/artistic public awareness campaign of his Black Man of Happiness Project, founded in 2010 as a creative, intellectual and artistic exploration prompted by one elemental question: What is a happy Black man? The Project explores African American life and history from a refreshing, life-affirming new angle: through the lens of happiness of the men whose survival, let alone joy, has never been a national priority.

Peter J. Harris, Altadena Poet Laureate Editor in Chief (2022-2024), is the author of Safe Arms: 20 Love & Erotic Poems (w/an Ooh Baby Baby moan), with Spanish translations by Francisco Letelier (FlowerSong Press), and SongAgain (Beyond Baroque Books). In 2015, his book of poetry, Bless the Ashes (Tia Chucha Press), won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and his book of personal essays, The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My 'Unalienable Right,' won the American Book Award.

Harris is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC and was the 2018 Los Angeles COLA Fellow in literary arts. His 1993 book, Hand Me My Griot Clothes: The Autobiography of Junior Baby, which featured a philosophical elder Black man ruminating on life, love, and ethics, earned the PEN Oakland award for multicultural literature. He is Founding Publisher/Editor of the LA magazine, The Drumming Between Us: Black Love & Erotic Poetry, (1994 to 1999) and Genetic Dancers: The Magazine for and about the Artistry within African/American Fathers (1984 to 1988). He’s the former Producer/Host of Inspiration House: VoiceMusic for Whole Living, a weekly radio show on KPFK-FM Los Angeles featuring poets in studio reading their work to recorded music (1999 to 2004).

Harris is founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, a creative, intellectual, and artistic exploration of Black men and joy. He writes the blog WREAKING HAPPINESS: A Joyful Living Journal:

His 2018 TEDx Pasadena Talk with Adenike A. Harris, at Huntington Library, “Healing vs. Retaliation: Surviving Trauma and Sexual Abuse,” described and celebrated 15 years of working with his daughter after convicting and jailing her predator ex-stepfather. Harris and his daughter are also contributors to LOVE with Accountability: Digging up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse, edited by Aishah Shahidah Simmons (2019).

Since the 1970s, Harris has published his work in a wide variety of publications, including Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, edited by Suzanne Lummis; Altadena Poetry Anthologies for 2018 and 2019; and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles, edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. Since 1992, Harris has been a member of the Anansi Writers Workshop at the World Stage, in LA’s Leimert Park.

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