Exclusive Story: Featured Face of OkayAfrica #BlackMenSmiling Story Opens Up to Black Men Smile®
Yesterday was a crazy day on social media. #BlackMenSmiling went viral...again...and all of the Black media outlets weighed in. It was a phenomenal day in many ways as we have been committed to advancing our unique blend of revolutionizing / normalizing self love via Black Men Smile® for nearly 4 years now.
OkayAfrica was one of the media outlets offering reflections. They featured an amazing image of (who we've since learned is) an amazing man in their coverage. We posted a screenshot of their story on the Black Men Smile Instagram and a friend of the featured gentleman recognized him. I tell you what. There's nothing like the power of community!
After tagging him we reached out to Xavier Henry to go further than simply showing his face and beautiful smile. We asked him, "WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?" The beauty and strength of his answer affirmed yet again why we do this work.
BLACK MEN SMILE®
WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
Ultimately, I get my joy and my happiness from God. Jesus Christ. He’s the sole provider and the main reason I’m able to smile and love the way that I do. I come from nothing and been through a lot in my life. Seasons of lacking, to being homeless, to heartbreak but for some reason I was always able to smile because I knew that a smile could really change someone else’s day and they could be going through something worse. If I didn’t have anything else, I knew I had my smile.
Other than that... my sister/princess Rachel, black women, food and sneakers make me smile. Rachel has cerebral palsy and seeing/hearing her smile fuels me to keep going in life. Black women are just magical, food is my getaway and sneakers are my love. Lol
I think it’s important for my brothers and fellow Kings to understand just how much power we have. In everything we do. Our smile is probably our best asset. There are times where I don’t feel like smiling but they are contagious so once someone smiles at me, I can’t stop and it’s just a chain reaction or an avalanche from there. We should strive to be that light in someone’s life even if it’s for 5 seconds passing by.
It always makes a difference somehow.