#GetSomeJoy: A blackstravaganza for mental health awareness

Join writer, mental health advocate, and co-host of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast Alexander Hardy for a night of merriment, art, readings by poets and storytellers, and candid conversations to increase awareness and destroy the stigmas around mental and emotional wellness.

When: Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Doors: 7PM. Event: 8:20PM

Where: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Langston Hughes Auditorium)

515 Malcolm X Blvd (at W 135th St)


At #GetSomeJoy, Alexander will share new writings inspired by his journey with depression and anxiety, and you'll hear greatness from Hari Ziyad, Jayson P. Smith, and Alise Leslie. Then, Darnell Lamont Walker, Danielle Belton, and Andrew Shade will join Alexander to get really real about self-care, therapy, healing, and how our work and mental wellness affect one another. #GetSomeJoy ends with a candid conversation about mental illness, stress, and trauma with a special guest. Oh, and there will be a squad of massage therapists on hand to work some magic and community organizations on hand to provide resources.  It's gonna be a beautiful night. 

For additional information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Alex at mr.alexhardy@gmail.com. 

FEATURING readings by:

 Photo by Brandon Nick for  The Each-Other Project

Photo by Brandon Nick for The Each-Other Project

Hari ziyad

Hari Ziyad is an artist, writer and the editor-in-chief of the literary and media publication RaceBaitR. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated on Film and Television and Psychology.

Their work is informed by their passion for storytelling and wrestling with identity as a Black, non-binary child of Muslim and Hindu parents while growing up in Cleveland, OH.

Their work has been featured on GawkerOutEbonyMicThe GuardianColorlinesPaste MagazineBlack Girl DangerousThe Feminist Wire, and in the peer-reviewed journal Critical Ethnic Studies (upcoming 2017). They are also Deputy Editor for Black Youth Project, an Assistant Editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose, and writer for AFROPUNK.

More Hari: WebTwitter | Instagram 

alise leslie.jpg

Alise Leslie

Alise Leslie is a poet, author, blogger, spoken-word artist, and mental health advocate currently residing in Durham, NC. She writes at the blog, “In My Mental Mind: a black girl’s mental health journey," focusing on mental health issues, particularly for women and men of color, through essays, personal stories, poetry, and music.  Her lipstick game is most likely better than yours. 

More AliseIn My Mental Mind | Facebook | Twitter 


jayson P. smith

Jayson P. Smith is a writer, curator, & educator. Currently an Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow with The Poetry Project, Jayson lives/works in Brooklyn & at jaysonpsmith.com, where they curate & host the NOMAD Reading Series.

More Jayson: Web | Twitter  





Darnell Lamont Walker, above all things, is an artist. As a writer, photographer, painter, and filmmaker, Darnell understands his duty is to reflect the times, whatever that may mean for the space he’s occupying.

As a playwright, Darnell has produced several plays, winning numerous awards worldwide, including three Best Drama Awards. As a poet, he serves as a Calalloo fellow, and tours the world, sharing his work. As an author, Darnell has published 5 works.

As a photographer, Darnell has been invited to exhibit his work in many galleries and spaces around the United States, Spain, South Africa, and the UK. He’s also been published to Vogue Italia.

Seeking Asylum, Darnell’s first self-produced and directed documentary, has been screened worldwide in several festivals and film houses. The film explored Black Americans’ desires to escape American tyranny for safer lands. His latest work, Outside The House, puts Black mental health on the forefront, asking “why are we not seeking the help we should be?”

Currently living in a “self-imposed exile” in South Africa, Darnell continues to create are that forces conversation and reflection.

More Darnell: Web | Twitter | Instagram


Born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. on a healthy diet of news programming, pop culture, black history and “snark,” Danielle Belton, daughter of loving “regular folk” and wife of no one, examines the irreverent side of American life.

With two million readers in less than two years, Belton is best known as the editor/writer of the pop culture-meets-politics blog The Black Snob. Belton started the blog in 2007.

Belton is currently Associate Editor for The Root. Previously she was Editor-At-Large for Clutch Magazine Onlineand was recently head writer for the late night television show Don’t Sleep hosted by T. J. Holmes on BET.

As an advocate for mental illness, Belton also has blogged about Bipolar Disorder for BP Magazine’s online site. She penned her own profile in BP Magazine summer 2011 and wrote about her battle with mental illness for the January 2012 edition of Essence Magazine.

The Black Snob has earned critical acclaim, appearing in Time MagazineThe New York Times, The Observer (UK), The Daily Beast, Essence MagazineThe Associated PressThe American Prospect, as well as appearing on CNNMSNBCNPRPBSGood Morning AmericaHLN, ABC’s Nightline and Al Jazeera English.

More Danielle: Web | Instagram | Twitter

Andrew Shade

Andrew Shade has a burning passion that lies in the arts. Originally from Fort Wayne, IN, he resides in the heart of Harlem, helping to lead the way in building a more diverse and knowledgeable audience in the theatre world. He is the Founder & Editorial Director of Broadway Black, a digital platform dedicated to highlighting the achievements and successes of African-American theatre artists on and off the Broadway stage. Broadway Black has taken the theatre industry by storm and has been excelled by the likes of Ben Vereen, Jennifer Hudson, & Misty Copeland just to name a few.

However, Shade feels the greatest achievement has been using his experience and knowledge of the industry to create a community celebrating his own. Recently awarded The Mountaintop Award by Actors Equity Association & BOLDNYC for being a trailblazer. "There is no greater joy than fueling & inspiring those who once thought the theatre was a foreign place to which they were not welcome," he says. He lives the life of the Broadway Black slogan, and shows what can happen "When The Theatre Goes Dark."

More Andrew: Web |  Twitter | Instagram | Facebook




New York City-based food-lover Alexander Hardy is an essayist, mental health advocate, cultural critic, dancer, lupus survivor, and co-host of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. He has written for Ebony Magazine, CNN.com, Esquire, Gawker, Courvoisier, The Huffington Post, Saint Heron, and Very Smart Brothas, among other outlets. Before shifting his creative and professional focus to mental health, he founded and worked as director of Panamerican Languages and taught dance and CardioDance classes while living and working in Panama City, Panama. Alexander now teaches creative, essay, and academic writing and spreads awareness as a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. When not writing on TheColoredBoy.com or talking about self-care or Janet Jackson, he enjoys cheese grits, power naps, James Baldwin, and rice. Alexander does not believe in snow or Delaware. View Alex's mental health writing and work here. See all of his work here.