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- 72 officers removed from patrol over ‘offensive’ Facebook posts Today 3:32 PM
- Cuba Gooding Jr. turned himself in to the police—and it’s a meme now Today 3:26 PM
- Facebook would like to remind the world it owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus Today 3:10 PM
- Kutcher, Kunis debunk divorce rumor—and fans reply with ‘That ‘70s Show’ memes Today 3:00 PM
- Yes, Tifa’s breasts are smaller in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Here’s why Today 1:33 PM
- Google admits bug could let people spy on Nest cameras Today 1:29 PM
- The Trump 2020 bot campaign has begun Today 1:10 PM
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- Hannah’s season of ‘The Bachelorette’ goes up in smoke amid drama, receipts Today 12:27 PM
- Homophobic pastor blocked from hosting event at Cracker Barrel Today 12:01 PM
- Here’s what’s coming to Amazon Prime in July 2019 Today 12:01 PM
- Biden faces backlash for remarks about working with segregationist senators Today 10:58 AM
Finally, Twitter is radiant.
Over the weekend and leading up to Trayvon Martin’s birthday on Monday, Twitter was trending the #BlackMenSmiling hashtag and the resulting pictures were, well, freeing and gorgeous.
— Sli’merre 🤮🖤 (@papichriss__) February 4, 2018
— Khai (@KabrenCyprian) February 5, 2018
— Yvesmark ♦️ (@YvesmarkChery1) February 4, 2018
The movement, which began on Friday, had the goal of celebrating Blackness and positivity during Black History Month. As mentioned in Huffington Post, the hashtag allows the humanity of Black men to shine on Twitter while highlighting their fight against hypermasculine stereotypes regarding sexuality, physical strength, and aggression.
In a study conducted on racial bias in judgments of physical size and formidability, lead author John Paul Wilson of Montclair State University found “unarmed Black men are disproportionately more likely to be shot and killed by police, and often these killings are accompanied by explanations that cite the physical size of the person shot.”
Black Twitter “rode the wave” of confronting these stereotypes into the week and continued posting selfies—some which elicited hilarious responses.
Lookin at you got me like pic.twitter.com/HD4QAFWhjP
— Victoria 🖤 (@VOrnelas98) February 6, 2018
— LEEZY ♠ (@LeeSheilaa) February 6, 2018
Thirst trap of the week ——> #Blackmensmiling
— Zamandlovu Ndlovu (@Ms_ZamaNdlovu) February 4, 2018
Whether #BlackMenSmiling had the intended effect of breaking the internet or not, it certainly occupied our Twitter feeds, and maybe even our desktop backgrounds, for a few days.
— Bolu Akindele (@boluakindele) February 6, 2018
It was nice to see Twitter serving as a platform for Black men to show their radiance “just because they can.” Now, let’s keep this brightness going all year-round.
Grace Speas is a news reporter, covering streaming entertainment, internet culture, and viral politics.