Juneteenth is a day for celebration, and so we have put together the below list of books, films, television shows, podcasts, artwork, and cultural moments to highlight that which too often goes unmentioned and unappreciated in mainstream media: Black joy.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

—Audre Lorde

Books & Poetry



Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (2017)

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston (2006)

The Water Dancer – Ta-Nehisi Coates (2019)

How Long ‘til Black Future Month? – N. K. Jemisin (2019)

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N. K. Jemisin (2010)

Memoir & Autobiography


Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography – Zora Neale Hurston (2006)

This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare – Gabourey Sidibe (2018)

Becoming – Michelle Obama (2018)

The Last Black Unicorn – Tiffany Haddish (2019)

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah (2019)



Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women – Maya Angelou (1995)

good woman: poems and a memoir 1969–1980 – Lucille Clifton (1987)

Confessions of a Barefaced Woman – Allison Joseph (2018)




Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse – Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman (2018)

Coming to America – Directed by John Landis (1988)

Black Panther – Directed by Ryan Coogler (2018)

Waiting to Exhale – Directed by Forest Whitaker (1995)

The Preacher’s Wife – Directed by Penny Marshall (1996)

Girls Trip – Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (2017)

Boomerang – Directed by Reginald Hudlin (1992)



Insecure – Created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore (2016–present)

Queen Sugar – Created by Ava DuVernay (2016–present)

RuPaul’s Drag Race – Reality competition (2009–present)

Living Single – Created by Yvette Lee Bowser (1993–1998)

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Created by Quincy Jones, Andy Borowitz, and Susan Borowitz (1990–1996)

Comedy Shows


Momma, I Made It! – Yvonne Orji (2020)

Smart, Funny, and Black – Series of Live and Audio shows hosted by Amanda Seales


Selected Songs


“Today Was a Good Day” – Ice Cube

“”Warrior” – Chloe x Halle

“Church” – Samm Henshaw feat. EARTHGANG

“Pray for Real” – Peter CottonTale (feat. Chance the Rapper & tobi lou)

“Rise Up” – Andra Day

“Black” – Buddy feat. A$AP Ferg

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” – Whitney Houston

“Rhythm Nation” – Janet Jackson

“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar

“Long Walk to D.C.” – The Staple Singers

“Stand by Me” – Ben E. King

“To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” – Nina Simone

“I Wish” – Stevie Wonder

“Let’s Go Crazy” – Prince

“Starfish and Coffee” – Prince

“Before I Let Go” – Frankie Beverly and Maze

“Before I Let Go” – Beyoncé

“Emotions” – Mariah Carey

“I Want You Back” – The Jackson 5

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” – Ms. Lauryn Hill

“Killin Me Softly” – Lauryn Hill

“The Light” – Common

“God’s Plan” – Drake

“The Jump Off” – Lil’ Kim (feat. Mr. Cheeks)

Full Discography


Tank and the Bangas


Cynthia Ervio (acting and music)

Audra McDonald (acting and music)


En Vogue


Billie Holiday


Journey to Launch – Jamila Souffrant

Still Processing – Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham

Identity Politics – Ikhlas Salem, Makkah Ali, and Hibba Meraay

2 Dope Queens – Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams




“Revelations” – Alvin Ailey Dance Company, choreographed by Alvin Ailey (Premiered: 1960)

Literally any performance by Misty Copeland, Principle Dancer at American Ballet Theatre

Gregory Hines’s tap solo in the film White Nights (1985)




Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Billy Porter, a fashion icon



Billy Porter’s impromptu performance at the 2019 Tony Awards

Meghan & Harry (Duchess and Duke of Sussex)

Lauren & Cameron from Netflix show Love is Blind

Tabitha Brown (Actor)

The Instagram account of Kaavia James Union Wade (daughter of Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade)

Dwyane Wade’s support of his daughter Zaya, who is trans

The Obamas. Period.

Viola Davis (Actor)

Elaine Welteroth’s wedding

Sarah Cooper (Writer and Comedian)

Lupita Nyong’o (Actor)

Michael B. Jordan (Actor)

The bond between Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan