EBONY fam, this month, we're celebrating joy. The act of creating it, the act of amplifying it, and most importantly the act of sharing it. Simple moments and rituals that create small sparkles in daily living are sometimes all we need to manifest joy, even in the dark times.

For some it comes in weekend road trips. In the smiles of children. Belting out Frankie Beverly and Maze's Before I Let Go at the family cookout. Boozy brunches.

I found it in daily visits with Nana. Watching Sidney Poitier films together on Turner Classics. Seeing her beam with pride that at 97-years old, she could still beat me at crossword puzzles. Listening to her rave about my mac n' cheese. Braiding her hair before Sunday mass.

Our July editorial theme, The Pursuit of Happiness is an exploration of Black joy via the art of dining, entertaining, family and fellowship. This month, we’re launching two special covers that celebrate the joy of summer with some of today’s leading stars.

First up, our favorite multihyphenate Issa Rae debuts her second EBONY cover, which was photographed in her hometown of Los Angeles. As Rae continues to amplify Black creatives through her various efforts, this summer she’s also branching out with a series of joy-inducing projects.

EBONY's July Cover Star Issa Rae. Photo by Keith Major for EBONY Media.

Her starring turns in Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse and the forthcoming Barbie film, see Rae focusing her efforts in front of the camera, marking a rare departure from her roles as writer/producer. In her EBONY cover story, Issa dishes on playing President Barbie and how the film provides long overdue representation for the next generation of viewers. Plus, learn how Issa’s officially having a #SoftGirlSummer by inviting ease and abundance into her life.

Later this month, the stars of Emmy winner Lena Waithe’s SHOWTIME series, The Chi reveal their EBONY cover ahead of their Season 6 launch. Actors Jacob Latimore, Luke James, Yolonda Ross, Birgundi Baker, and Curtiss Cook discuss the power of community, and Black love and joy in the midst of struggle.

EBONY's July Cover Stars Luke James, Yolonda Ross, Birgundi Baker, Curtiss Cook and Jacob Batimore of the hit SHOWTIME series, 'The Chi'. Photo by Keith Major for EBONY Media.

With barbecue season in full swing, we’re also tapping top chefs and grill-masters for their best recipes. Plus, event pros share ideas for table settings, libations, and party playlists. Finally, our celebration of Black joy continues as we explore spiritual journeys, the best summer comedies, and fun DIY projects.

We dedicate this issue to the moments and rituals that manifest the joy that we need, deserve, and desire. That feeling that you have all you will ever need right here, right now.