- ‘Carmen Sandiego’ reinvents its thieving protagonist as a role model action hero 12 Months Ago
- How to watch ‘Power’ online for free Today 6:00 AM
- What you need to know about DVR on FuboTV Today 5:30 AM
- Spotify will soon let you block R. Kelly Monday 6:01 PM
- New Click to Pray app lets you pray with Pope Francis Monday 5:30 PM
- Social media influencer known for hiking in bikinis dead at 36 Monday 4:54 PM
- Trump posts altered pics on social media to make fingers look longer, report Monday 3:20 PM
- Twitch user banned after telling woman to ‘kill yourself’ during stream Monday 3:06 PM
- Facebook introduces ‘Community Actions’ tool to petition the government Monday 2:04 PM
- Sarah Sanders, NRA deliver truly misguided MLK tributes Monday 12:58 PM
- MAGA teen who confronted Native elder says he ‘respects all races’ Monday 12:57 PM
- Popular YouTube channel in danger of disappearing because of copyright claims Monday 12:24 PM
- The Krassensteins’ Reddit AMA gets trolled off the internet Monday 12:08 PM
- No, Trump didn’t break open the Pizzagate scandal in 2011 Monday 11:23 AM
- Producer of anti-abortion film says Facebook refuses to run his ads Monday 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.
— Everybody Hates Chris🤣🌀 (@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
Damn. Do you need a baby mama? Or a wife or something? Asking for me and me only 😩😭😂
— thiccolas cage (@VivaLaJasmin) February 5, 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.