Black Men Smile® feat on HLN Across America with Carol Costello
First off, we would like to start by saying thank you all for your commitment to this narrative. It is because of you that we have been given more insight as to what it is that we’re creating. Hearing people say that the images we share helps them throughout their day lets us know that Black Men Smile® is necessary.
Secondly, witnessing derivative hashtags like #Blackmensmiling garner viral praise solidifies that as a community we have had our fingers on the pulse of something major for nearly 4 years. I would dare to say that as a culture, we are hungry for healing and wellness. And I would further that notion by adding that we long for greatness and creation anew. Certainly, Carlton and I could state claim to being responsible for bringing the smiles of black men from across the world to the forefront of the consciousness of thousands if not millions of people. However, that would be shrewd and grossly self-centered. We must acknowledge the collective effort that afforded us an opportunity like the one we experienced on Monday.
We had the chance to sit down with Carol Costello from the HLN Network and discuss the significance of our resistance movement. It was at this moment that we became aware that our efforts far exceed the claim of ownership by any single entity. As representatives of Black men, women and children around the world, we proudly accepted the responsibility of portraying US in the highest light.
During the interview, Costello asked an impromptu question that we have since given further thought. She asked, "If it were a person in our culture that could add to our movement, who would it be?"
Honestly, we would like to see someone like an Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Lebron James, or perhaps Colin Kaepernick get behind our platform. My reason for stating these names is because as a culture we tend to idolize celebrity. Nothing is wrong with placing these people on pedestals, however, once we grant them a position of status, we typically fall short of holding them accountable to the larger community. For once I would like to see them stand beside us instead of us always having to get behind them. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE SUPPORT OUR MOVEMENT? (Send us names and ideas for connecting with them!)
That being said, you all standing beside us is more important to us than you'll ever know. It is because of you that we are here and is because of you all that we are committed to doing the sustainable work of transforming our communities and the way we see ourselves far beyond the fleeting lifespan of a viral hashtag.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Devan Dmarcus – Black Men Smile Co-Founder