Terry Crews and MLK’s Daughter, Bernice King, Join Twitter Campaign #BlackMenSmiling to Help Dispel Negative Stereotypes of African American Males

A viral hashtag campaign showing black men smiling and laughing aims to break the portrayal of black men as angry or thuggish and dispel negative assertions.

Comedian Dennis Banks took to social media on Friday to upload a few photos of himself smiling and to kick off Black History Month, which started on Thursday.

‘Today let’s share some pics of #BlackMenSmiling. Like big goofy smiles,’ he said on the post, which has been retweeted more than 700 times and having over 3,700 likes.

‘Happy (even if just for a moment) with life smiles. Normalize happy. #BlackHistoryMonth where your teeth at?’

Comedian Dennis Banks took to social media, on Friday, to upload a few photos of himself smiling and to kick off Black History Month, which started on Thursday, and to celebrate #Blackmensmiling
Comedian Dennis Banks took to social media, on Friday, to upload a few photos of 
himself smiling and to kick off Black History Month, which started on Thursday, 
and to celebrate #Blackmensmiling

The hashtag has become viral hit, with many taking to Twitter to post their best selfies and celebrating the multiple shades and sizes that black men come in.

Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights activist and icon Martin Luther King Jr, posted a photo of her father smiling.

She would also post a throwback with rapper/actor Common and said: ‘#BlackMenSmiling. #FlashbackFriday to @common visiting @TheKingCenter.’

Actor Terry Crews posted a seflie smiling into the camera and shared the hashtag as well.

Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights activist and icon Martin Luther King Jr, posted a photo of her father smiling
She would also post a throwback with rapper/actor Common and said: '#BlackMenSmiling. #FlashbackFriday to @common visiting @TheKingCenter'
Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights activist and icon Martin Luther King Jr, 
posted a photo of her father smiling. She would also post a throwback with 
rapper/actor Common and said: '#BlackMenSmiling. #FlashbackFriday to @common 
visiting @TheKingCenter'
Actor Terry Crews posted a seflie smiling into the camera and shared the hashtag as well.
Actor Terry Crews posted a seflie smiling into the camera and shared the hashtag 
as well.

‘#BlackMenSmiling Haven’t posted on Twitter in like 4 years lol,’ shared user Andrew Jelen posting a picture with his tongue out.

User Eric Reed posted a collage of photos featuring him in a graduation gown while spinning a basketball on his finger and added: ‘Been told to try this, so here it is #BlackMenSmiling.’

A different user posted their own collage including photos of them with friends.

'#BlackMenSmiling Haven’t posted on Twitter in like 4 years lol,' shared user Andrew Jelen posting a picture with his tongue out
'#BlackMenSmiling Haven’t posted on Twitter in like 4 years lol,' shared user 
Andrew Jelen posting a picture with his tongue out
User Eric Reed posted a collage of photos featuring him in a graduation gown while spinning a basketball on his finger and added: 'Been told to try this, so here it is #BlackMenSmiling'
User Eric Reed posted a collage of photos featuring him in a graduation gown while 
spinning a basketball on his finger and added: 'Been told to try this, so here it is 
#BlackMenSmiling'
A different user posted their own collage including photos of them with friends
A different user posted their own collage including photos of them with friends
And many would share photos of themselves doing things like traveling and cooking while showing off their beaming smiles
And many would share photos of themselves doing things like traveling and cooking 
while showing off their beaming smiles

‘I had to put in a little throwback #BlackMenSmiling,’ said user Kelsey.

Somebody said this hashtag was made for me #BlackMenSmiling,’ asserted a different user.

Another said: ‘So happy that I can still do this #BlackMenSmiling’

'I had to put in a little throwback #BlackMenSmiling,' said user Kelsey
'I had to put in a little throwback #BlackMenSmiling,' said user Kelsey
Somebody said this hashtag was made for me #BlackMenSmiling,' asserted a different user
Somebody said this hashtag was made for me #BlackMenSmiling,' asserted a different 
user
Another said: 'So happy that I can still do this #BlackMenSmiling'
Another said: 'So happy that I can still do this #BlackMenSmiling'

A few people who did not photos of themselves or others for the hashtag, did provide comedic relief when posting about their reactions to all the blackness.

‘Me looking at #BlackMenSmiling,’ said Ashanti posting a gif of a young Beyonce placing her hand on her chest.

The sentiment was shared by Ruth who used a gif of Regina Hall in Scary Movie and said: ‘Going through the #blackmensmiling tag like.’

A different user added: ‘I’m so emotional about #BlackMenSmiling cause I can’t partake with my ugly smile.’

'Me looking at #BlackMenSmiling,' said Ashanti posting a gif of a young Beyonce placing her hand on her chest
'Me looking at #BlackMenSmiling,' said Ashanti posting a gif of a young 
Beyonce placing her hand on her chest
The sentiment was shared by Ruth who used a gif of Regina Hall in Scary Movie and said: 'Going through the #blackmensmiling tag like'
The sentiment was shared by Ruth who used a gif of Regina Hall in Scary Movie and 
said: 'Going through the #blackmensmiling tag like'
A different user added: 'I’m so emotional about #BlackMenSmiling cause I can’t partake with my ugly smile'
A different user added: 'I’m so emotional about #BlackMenSmiling cause I can’t 
partake with my ugly smile'

Several people also shared photos of Tamir Rice and Philando Castile, two men who were killed by police officers, to point out that they were unable to partake in the hashtag.

They also sought to point out the tendency for press to use photos of black men looking angry or doing something that society has frowned down upon as a means to paint them as violent.

Banks would later take to his Twitter to post about the feelings he felt when seeing all the different pictures.

‘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,’ he said.

Several people also shared photos of Tamir Rice and Philando Castile, two men who were killed by police officers, to point out that they were unable to partake in the hashtag
Several people also shared photos of Tamir Rice and Philando Castile, two men who 
were killed by police officers, to point out that they were unable to partake in 
the hashtag
They also sought to point out the tendency for press to use photos of Black men looking angry or doing something that society has frowned down upon as a means to paint them as violent
They also sought to point out the tendency for press to use photos of Black men 
looking angry or doing something that society has frowned down upon as a means to 
paint them as violent

SOURCE: Daily Mail – Matthew Wright