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Past Event Shop Talk: Kleaver Cruz and Devan Shimoyama discuss Black Joy, Masculinity, and Barbershops

A black and white photograph of a portrait of a man looking off to the left of the frame. He has short, dark hair, and dark facial hair.

Sindayiganza Photography, Courtesy of the artist

Kleaver Cruz brings The Black Joy Project to Pittsburgh. For one week in October, Cruz will explore black spaces in Pittsburgh, take portraits, and conduct conversations regarding Black joy. As a culmination of his residency, he will speak with artist Devan Shimoyama and community members about navigating black barbershops and the complex experience of being queer in these spaces. The event will be followed by a late-night dance party in the museum entrance space with a local DJ and a live performance by Pittsburgh-based performer, Brendon Hawkins. This event is organized by Jessica Beck, the Milton Fine curator of art at The Warhol in collaboration with Rickey Laurentiis the inaugural Fellow in Creative Writing at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.

Kleaver Cruz, a native of New York, is a writer and creator of The Black Joy Project, a digital and real-world movement, which centers Black joy as a form of resistance. Cruz is a member of “We Are All Dominican,” a grassroots collective that amplifies voices and supports the work of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic. His work has been featured in La Galería and African Voices magazines and and The Huffington Post. Cruz is part of the poetic duo, The Delta, which has performed at The Nuyorican Poet’s Café and Bowery Poetry Club. Cruz has presented and conducted his work across the African Diaspora in South Africa, France, and Brazil.

Co-presented with Center for African American Poetry (CAAPP) at University of Pittsburgh.

Center for African American Poetry and Poetics


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