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12 #blackboyjoy Moments That Have Us Loving The Men In Our Lives

I always seek out moments that keep me amazed at our resiliency.

Culture & Entertainment

As a full advocate of the progression of black people, I always seek out moments that keep me amazed at our resiliency.

I recently read an article that discussed the death of Kobe Bryant in relation to the vulnerable side of black men that we often don't get to see. And with the media attaching us to negativity as often as they can, as a black woman on an empowerment platform, I accept full responsibility in welcoming any moments in the culture that eases that image.

In, comes along the phenomenally revolutionary hashtag #blackboyjoy.

Coined by The Root, and made popular by the #blackboyjoy king himself, Chance the Rapper, the hashtag became a centralized hub of black boys and men who were happily being themselves outside the confines of the media's portrayal of gangsters, criminals, or the latest victims of police brutality.

I decided to list 12 moments where #blackboyjoy had us smiling ear to ear.

Enjoy!

Matthew Cherry Wins Oscar And Takes De'Andre Arnold To The Ceremony

Matthew Cherry, a former NFL player, decided to write a short film titled Hair Love about the trials and tribulations of combing his daughter's hair. This film took off from there and remained highly-rooted for with the help of a manifested vision.

Cherry went on to win the Oscar, joining the ranks of the likes of other former athletes, such as Kobe Bryant, who also retired and explored the film industry.

On top of his Oscar win, Cherry took DeAndre Arnold, the young teen from Houston who was told he could not participate in graduation due to his locs, as his guest.

As our sis, Shellie R. Warren put it, "Matthew A. Cherry reminds us that celebrating Blackness is always worth it."

Always.

William Bilal Plays The Trombone Like You've Literally NEVER Heard Before

In 2016, William Bilal was at student in high school standing in the bleachers and playing his trombone during rehearsal. What was recorded became history, and 1.6 million views later, he continues to blow what seems like the entire internet's wig all the way back. The passion, the level of difficulty, and the effortless way he made his trombone sing—at THAT age—you just had to know that the ancestors were watching and losing their wigs too.

Bilal has since gone on to attend Benedict College in South Carolina, and has other (clearer) videos floating on worldwide web. But this is where it all started.

Sidebar: the song played is Al Jarreau's "Black and Blues", which is a very popular among HBCU marching bands.

Fair warning, you will not be able to watch this just once.

The Viral Black Man Skincare Thread

@SoOulzZz/Twitter

It all started when Twitter user @SoOulzZz said: "Let's start a thread of black men doing skincare here pls."

And boy, did Twitter deliver.

What followed were men openly sharing their skincare routines, offering tips, and as an amazing turn of events, allowed the ladies to just sit back and watch in awe.

#skinisin

The High Fives Of A Lifetime

I mean...come on!

Men Openly Show Off Their Love On Twitter

Twitter user, @KeyKey_Shepard, asked Black men to "upload a picture of the Black woman that you're treating right, having sex with on the regular, and making happy." Hundreds of men of all ages blessed our feeds with a tribute to their partners that will give you all the feels.

"Say Less," one reader responded.

You have to see the best responses, they're hilariously sweet.

Everything About Shaquan Parson, Who Is An Entire Mood Every Time He Lands A Trick

Shaquan Parson is training and competing to be the best self-proclaimed power ranger in the game. The stunts, the tricks. Whew. You have to see for yourself.

But the best part (at times) isn't even the acrobats.

It's his reaction after each successful landing.

If you don't root for yourself, who else will?

The Top Quarterbacks in the NFL Are Black And ESPN Coins 2019 the #YearoftheBlackQB

In a notoriously...let's just say, “conservative"...league, for the first time ever, the most statically superior, and discussed, quarterbacks in the NFL were all black:

Patrick Mahomes

Russell Wilson

Lamar Jackson

Deshaun Watson

ESPN took notice and created the television special “Year of The Black Quarterback" with a panel of key components to commemorate.

Go crush the field in 2020, fellas!

Black Lawyers Casually Create A Multi-Million-Dollar Room

A group of Chicago lawyers were captured during their quarterly dinner to vent about their work, offer each other support, and to discuss ways in which they can use their platforms to move the culture forward. The magic came in them assembling in a room, and quietly creating a buying power larger than what we're often exposed to outside of athletes and entertainers—which is a celebration within itself.

I don't know about you guys, but all I see are successful black men smiling, laughing, and being carefree Wakandian Warriors. #kanyeshrug

A Couple Friends Enjoying A Quick Dance Battle

Sometimes, you just have to pull your friends into your silliness with you, and sometimes being black AF on dance cam is necessary. My mans, @neversayneveraj, is a legend at both.

A Young Prince Sings "Standby Me" For His Class

It was Mr Sorto's classroom's tribute to the late Ben E. King for their Black History Month performance. The moves, the commitment, and the microphone stand for him...omgggg.

The preciousness is too much to handle.

Send this baby some love, he did his parents and teacher proud!

*sings along*

This Guy Took An International Solo Trip And Had A Great Story To Tell

Vandyke’s entire trip was a wild ride of randomness, from renting his Airbnb for four nights for only $120, to hanging with locals, to surviving on $5, and being invited to his neighbor's 87th birthday party (who didn't speak a word of English). He truly had a trip to remember.

I personally read the full story in a travel group, but the photo caption details more. There's one thing for sure, he knows how to have a good time, regardless.

Live your best life, king!

A Head Football Coach Learning Chemistry For His Students

Coach Darrell LeBeaux, Head Football Coach of Pleasant Grove High School in Birmingham, Alabama went the extra mile to literally re-learn the chemistry lesson of his player’s class. He was captured in full student mode—all while each of them were beaming in their magic.

This football season, Pleasant Grove went on to be ranked #1 in their region, and are nationally ranked as a program to look out for—and we can see why. We're forever rooting for any educator that shows a little more effort in developing young boys into men, through example.

Great job, Coach LeBeaux!

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Featured image via Tumblr

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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