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Black Kid Joy

Isaac Bloodworth explains the meaning of his New Haven mural “Soda Surf” also known as “Black Kid Joy.”

Interview by
Alyssa Mattei

Isaac Bloodworth’s piece, now displayed on the windows outside the New Haven City Hall was originally called “Soda Surf” but since being featured in a local article it’s begun going by the moniker “Black Kid Joy.” Thanks to a juried art submission and a collaboration between several city and community outreach programs, an open call for up-and-coming artists was put out. Bloodworth’s work was selected from amongst the entries and his mural is now proudly installed around the Amistad Memorial.

​Bloodworth’s piece aims to portray the joy of Black children when they are uninhibited by the institutional issues stemming from systemic societal racism and all that brings with it. He describes this piece in a greater part of his series as: “depict[ing] a beautiful Black Kid, surfing the bubbly pink soda waves on his lollipop surfboard. The colors in the piece are symbols for Black trans kids, because they matter too and deserve a loving carefree life. The imagery is part of a larger brand called ‘Adventures of Joy Da Black Boi.’ In ‘Adventures of Joy Da Black Boi’ I focus on creating a realm for Joy and other Black kids to have fun and live/exist in a space free of racial, patriarchal, homophobic, abled, oppression. This acknowledgement of Black Kid Joy comes from the other side of police brutality on Black children’s bodies and other horrific events towards the Black communities. And as much liberation there is in fighting for equality and showing our resilience in this country, there is also liberation in Joy and showing our bodies unharmed.”

You can follow Isaac Bloodworth on Instagram @way_ward_17.
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