#TheOptimisticChallenge

You might have seen the original viral video already, but the #OptimisticChallenge is the dance craze we all honestly need. First, the music:

“Optimistic” was the debut single of inspirational choir Sounds Of Blackness and the first release from Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis' Perspective label imprint through A&M Records.

The song features lead vocals from  five members of the choir, most notably Ann Nesby who would take the lead on most of the groups singles for the next 5 years before leaving to embark on a solo career.

“Optimistic” reached #3 on the R&B charts in 1991 and has kept a quiet and infrequent relevance since. In early 2017,  the song was brought back to the forefront with the social media-driven #OptimisticChallenge in the wake of widely-felt post-election blues

LYRICS

Keep, keep On.... Never Say Die....

When in the midst of sorrow
You can't see up when looking down
A brighter day tomorrow will bring
You hear the voice of reason
Telling you this cannot weigh me down *
No matter how hard reality seems
Just hold on to your dreams

Don't give up and don't give in
Although it seems you never win
You will always pass the test
As long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
Be optimistic

If things around you crumble
No, you don't have to stumble and fall
Keep pushing on and don't you look back

I know the storms and strife
Cloud up your outlook on life
Just think ahead and you'll be inspired
To reach higher and higher

You'll always do your best
If you learn to never say never
You maybe down, but you're not out

Don't give up and don't give in
Although it seems you never win
You will always pass the test
As long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky (you can win child!)
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
Be optimistic

Don't you let no body stop you.....
Be optimistic

You can win, Yes
Never say die....

Instagram star, Jay Versace, actually popularized the dance craze earlier this year. He tweeted a video of him and his friends embodying #blackboyjoy to the 1991 hit song in the middle of the road with a message of positivity about the new year.

The latest declaration of #blackboyjoy comes from 'Black-ish" star, Miles Brown, and his dad Jack. 

Why do things like this bring us so much unfettered joy? Why is it so important to share images like this? Because joy can often get lost in the 24 hour news cycle, and since representation matters, positive examples of young black boys and men enjoying life is a treasure. Don't ever forget that.