#BlackMenSmiling: Initiative to promote positive images of African-Americans blows up on Twitter 

Have you noticed a plethora of pictures featuring cheerful black men all over Twitter? It’s a part of new campaign called #BlackMenSmiling to help promote positive images of African-Americans.

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On Friday, comedian Dennis Banks took to social media to challenge his followers to upload photos of black men smiling in an attempt to “normalize happy,” he tweeted. 

“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?” Banks wrote. 

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In a later tweet, he explained he rarely smiled when he was in front of the camera. While he said the hashtag doesn’t “invalidate black pain,” he wants to “leave evidence of our happiness.” 

Soon after, many flocked to Twitter to share snapshots of their beaming faces. Several celebrities and influencers, including Terry Crews and Bernice King, chimed in, too. 

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Many posted their favorites actors, singers and politicians. 

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Some even highlighted those who had been killed as a result of police-related shootings, including Philando Castile and Tamie Rice. 

And a few just appreciated the joy the viral moment sparked. 


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