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Chicago-native and award-winning rapper, Chance The Rapper isn’t trying to get his next album trending or a picture of his car or his latest girlfriend trending like many rappers nowadays are. Chance actually sparked the trending of an empowering hashtag online after he tweeted a photo of himself Tuesday evening taken on the red carpet of MTV’s Video Music Awards. Accompanying the photo, he tweeted the hashtag: #BlackBoyJoy.

Interestingly enough, the hashtag caught on. It maybe because the climate in America right now is hostile, to say the least. Black men are dying at the hands of authority figures. It’s as if we are stabbed repeatedly then handed the knife, only to be told “it’s your fault.” In a time when Black men’s lives don’t really seem to matter, witnessing #BlackBoyJoy is a rare, much-needed jolt in the arm.

It’s a welcome alternative the hashtags we’ve been seeing of those who have been slain. So in a time when Black men are supposed to be strong, but not too strong to authority figures, serious, but not too serious, caring, but not too caring, we celebrate this idea that young black men can be happy, too.

Here are a number of fans who posted their own personal takes on #BlackBoyJoy


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