Joie Lou Shakur is an activist, an artist, a community organizer, a visionary, and a self-described medicine maker. In this interview with Tzedek’s Heather Laine Talley, Joie talks about prison abolition, justice and accountability, self-determination, filmmaking, storytelling, and Black love. In the last year, Joie has launched House of Pentacles, a film production and training program designed to sustain Black Trans artists through storytelling and connection, and co-created Fiber & Fern an artist residency by and for Black queer, trans, and gender non-conforming folks from across the diaspora to connect through art. In their capacity as the Tzedek Fellow at Asheville’s Our VOICE, Joie launched a series of Black Healing Circles a transformative approach to healing the impacts of sexual violence in Black communities.
As I'm trying to survive and to thrive and to make this liberatory world that Black folks and Black queer and trans folks can exist and thrive in, I have to figure out ways to process the things that are happening. That's how my artistry overlaps with medicine because that's the thing that heals me. That is the thing that keeps me going--my ability to create. When I first started with film, the thing that I knew was that I am a storyteller. That is in my blood. Joie Lou Shakur