This is what you need to get your Friday evening started on the right note: beautiful images of black men, their faces glowing, their teeth gleaming, happiness pouring from their very beings. #BlackMenSmiling is trending at No. 1 on Twitter right now, and it is the best thing ever.
We are inundated every single day with negative images of black men, so this Twitter trending topic was a welcome surprise and a needed expression of #BlackBoyJoy.
Comedian Dennis Banks, who tweets under the handle @Felonious_munk, kicked it off late Friday morning with a tweet that said, “Today let’s share some pics of #BlackMenSmiling. Like big goofy smiles. Happy (even if just for a moment) with life smiles. Normalize happy. #BlackHistoryMonth where your teeth at?”
What followed is hours of the blackest and most beautifulest thing Twitter has ever seen. Don’t @ me.
Celebrities, filmmakers and TV shows all took part.
And, of course, a bunch of smiling, handsome black men.
Banks later explained to another tweeter that he started the hashtag because he noticed that he rarely smiled in photos, even if he was happy. “Just sharing joy in bhm [sic],” he wrote. “Doesn’t invalidate black pain. Isn’t an attempt at being accepted or disproving anything.
“If nothing else #BlackMenSmiling is opening my eyes to how rare it is to catch a Black man smiling on camera. It’s like we can’t leave evidence of our happiness,” Banks added.
What an amazing trend to get started.
Look at these pictures and get yourself some happy this Friday evening.