I came up with this shirt idea sometime in mid 2023, but like many ideas, it sat in my note app for a while. But as the end of Black August approached—a time to remember and honor the legacies and sacrifices of Black freedom fighters and political prisoners—I decided to launch this shirt. It was perfect timing, in my opinion, as it's a reminder that the journey toward liberation is not just about the struggle, but also about finding moments of joy and embracing rest as acts of resistance.
It celebrates the resilience of Black people, the power and necessity of self-care, and the beauty of living life on your terms—even as we still fight for freedom, equality, and justice for ALL of us. As Audre Lorde said, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."
So many of us hustle and fight hard but don't think about or understand we also need balance and rest. It goes against the grind culture narrative that values overwork and constant hustle. If we let it, the grind will dim, or even steal our light. But we need to start prioritizing our rest and make time for revolutionary self-care. We deserve it.
My hope is that this shirt and message will serve as a reminder that rest is a form of self-love, joy is a radical act, and liberation is our birthright.