photographer captures black joy at party noire chicago in this photo series

March 2, 2017

Chicago is such a beautiful, vibrant place despite the political discourse which makes it seem like a place full of despair. Photographer RJ Eldridge has been documenting the Black joy he finds in the midst of the city’s struggles in a Southside Chicago phenomenon called Party Noire. As a Black queer femme-centered event, Party Noire was founded just over a year ago by three millennial black women: Lauren Ash (founder of BlackGirlInOm), Nickecia Alder (Founder of BlackGirlFly Magazine) and Rae Chardonnay, the Chicago Reader’s #1 DJ, in order to serve a demographic that is often overlooked in the nightlife scene. Populated by Chicago’s avant-garde millennial black artists, scholars and activists, Party Noire is a Chicago diamond in the rough on the verge of great expansion and it sounds like just the remedy to these trying time. RJ’s goal is to take part in the tradition and follow in the footsteps of photographers like Malick Sidibe and Gordon Parks, to document Black people in the simplicity of their joy and the celebration of the everyday beauty we behold. Take a look at this amazing sample of RJ’s work thus far and to take a deeper dive, visit

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor