Get To Know An HBG ( Happy Black Guy)

A few months ago we launched a column titled “Get To Know an HBG“. As always the abbreviation was intended for Happy Black Girls and the purpose of the column was to share with you readers the various levels of happy we come in contact with on a regular basis.

Folks stay talking about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. We wanted to take a different approach and highlight the fascinating happy folks we know, love and sometimes admire from afar. We’ve decided to modify the abbreviation a bit though. From now on the column will highlight both happy black girls and guys! Let’s get things started with Joshua Asante shall we?- devoya


Dedication To Art Is Prayer, 2013

Dedication To Art Is Prayer, 2013: Self Portrait By: Joshua

  1. Please tell the readers, who you are, where you’re from, stay, dwell, kick it…whatever.
    My name is Joshua. I live in my head mostly. Sometimes in an embrace if grace abides. I am a photographer. A musician. I design stuff. I love my mama.
  2. Do you wake up happy?
    On occasion I do. It’s a rare and very much valued thing. For me happiness is usually a response to emotional stimuli, so when it just settles from the Source, I try hard to bask and nurture. But, when I wake up and it’s not there, I work for it. That’s actually the norm.
  3. What’s your 1st line of action when you’re happy and it unexpectedly gets high jacked?
    It varies depending on my mood. Usually though, I pout for a few minutes and then I fight the feeling. Or dance. I’ve been known to jump like a Maasai warrior in the middle of an argument. Whatever gets you over, right?     

    Love Underwonder

    Love Underwonder: Photography/Design By: Joshua


    Roni: Photography By: Joshua

  4. Five things in your HBG “I’m gone be alright” Survival Kit.
    An honest hug.
    Duke Ellington’s record Indigos. Vinyl of course. Gotta have that crackle.
    A timely breeze.
    Rita Dove.
    My thumbs. Tucking my thumbs into my palms is quite reassuring.
  5. Tell us a little bit about your latest projects.
    Velvet Kente & Amasa Hines are two bands. Half brothers if you will. I am lead vocalist and guitarist for both. We have wrapped up the recording the AH record and are working on getting it pressed to vinyl and released by summer’s end. The VK record is still in the works and will be ready for release when it’s finished. Yes, I said that intentionally. What? 
  6. Share something you think the 12 year old HBG version of yourself would appreciate about you now.
    Most likely that I still don’t judge my pudge. And that my being picky has continued to pay dividends. Also, that I still think Regina is cute. Because she is. 
  7. In your opinion, how important is the company you keep?
    In order to thrive creatively, an artist must be committed to spending many hours alone. That said, the people I do surround myself with have to be emotional assets. And preferably, I’d like them to desire the same thing of me. 

    funk you

    Funk You: Design By: Joshua

  8. Anyone ever give you the side eye because they didn’t get you?  Or just plain wasn’t ready for you? Details… Details!
    I just talked about this yesterday. I tend to self soothe in such moments. Hug myself on the sneak. Or hold my own hand and drift into internal dialogue. Usually unrelated to what’s being misunderstood or directed at me. That’s on good days. On bad days I use my wit for evil. (Details have been excluded to protect the guilty.)
  9. Any upcoming events etc …that you’re involved in that you’d like to share with the folks?
    I have a dj set with Baldego on July 5 at White Water Tavern for his Summer Soulstice shindig. VK will be back there July 26, and Amasa Hines will be playing Secret Stages, a really nice two day festival, on August 3 in Birmingham, AL. 
  10. Last but never least…any final comments and or shout outs?
    As much as I enjoy being happy, every day I am striving to move beyond it and into a sustained sense of joy; one that’s palpable with comforting edges and depths. My life’s work, my life as work, is me attempting to guide my trajectory towards that joyfulness. I’d like to thank the Creator, the creative, and the loved ones that keep me lifted up in prayer and positivity as I strive; for them…and for Joshua too.  


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