Jubilation doesn’t arise in spite of protest—it’s present at the root. Coverage of this year’s uprisings has rightfully focused on the torrent of police brutality against protesters. But rebellion is also festive. It can be beautiful, joyful, and catchy. As Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman famously wrote about dancing in a revolution, freedom fighters shouldn’t “demand the denial of life and joy.” And as one organizer in Lexington, Kentucky, put it recently, “Black joy is a state of resistance.”
People claiming their power have marched to brass bands in New Orleans, danced after curfew in Oakland, and chanted “fuck these racist-ass police” over techno beats in Detroit. We’re watching in real time as each city shows how it demands and celebrates the movement’s growing triumphs. Here are a few of our favorites.