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Instagram-ready: An installation reading “Free 1865” is surrounded by red, black, and green balloons at a Birmingham, Alabama, Juneteenth celebration. All images in this post taken by Joi West for Momentum at Medium.

File This Under: Black Joy

During a very stormy day, I photographed various Juneteenth celebrations across the Birmingham, Alabama, region. These events included a program at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a small potluck hosted by Alabama Rally Against Injustice and Cell A65, and an intimate Juneteenth gathering hosted by my friend Brandi.

Seeing people of various ages and cultures celebrate Juneteenth, I realized that we have resilience against all odds. We unabashedly celebrate our Black joy as a form of resistance to those who have denied and still today deny our true freedom from slavery. We keep our oral history, memorialize our ancestors, and…

Joi West

Joi West (she/they) is a Queer documentary film photographer based in Birmingham, AL who exploring family & the LGBTQIA+ community in the South. www.joiwest.com

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