Uthman Olowa


Uthman is a Master of Architecture candidate at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He graduated from Binghamton University in 2016 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In the immediate years after graduating, Uthman served in AmeriCorps programs, City Year and Public Allies, sparking his commitment to revitalizing Black and Brown communities through design.

What does black joy look like to you?

Black Joy means all of these things to me; it is resistance, it is healing, and it is preservation. It is a moment where we can fully exist unabated by the societal and institutional standards that oppress us. Black joy is unapologetic; it is laughing boisterously from the pit of one’s soul without care of who sees. Black joy is self-care; there is so much for us to be angry and feel defeated about, but moments of joy are necessary for us to take care of ourselves. Black joy is what keeps us going.

Exalt. 2018, Acrylic paint
Exalt. 2018, Acrylic paint