This weekend I attend a party, to mark enslaved people freeing themselves in the united States.

The holiday feels heavy, but, as I walk toward a line of colorful outfits, coily hair, and a symphony of fragrances, I am glad if this means Black people will have an excuse to seize joy today.

The bar fills up quickly, music's already poppin.

I don't know this place. The Black bay area is its own nation. I'm not familiar with the music that gets a whole crowd going after three beats. But I can laugh and vibe.