Up Close and Personal with Black Men Smile® Creators by ATL Photographer Shai Dawnn
OneMusicFest 2016, I came across a table of black men promoting Black Men Smile®. I was instantly intrigued and I purchased two shirts to give to a few black men in my life. As a black woman, I have always loved the black man and everything about him. Although there is something about a black man’s smile that is unmatchable. Reading the story behind why Black Men Smile® made me appreciate this platform even more.
Fast forward to February 2018, I have known Carlton and Devan for over a year now and we are preparing for a photoshoot for Black Men Smile®. As I began to shoot I watched the way these two brothers interacted with each other. Their brotherhood was obvious and one that had been built strong over time.
What made my heart smile even more was capturing Carlton interacting with his son. They were both oblivious to me shooting, caught in their own world. The smiles from both father and son would make anyone smile. What was most beautiful to me was that I was able to witness one thing, a very important thing, that made this Black Man Smile, and smile so genuinely. This platform not only labors to change the narrative of black men all over, but it advances a step further to understand and convey what makes our Black Men Smile®.