Jamel Smith, 21, is a senior at Morehouse College in Atlanta, a Marketing representative for Universal Music Group, and a creative himself. However, he is most passionate about the scarring of black boys in their formative years at the hands of toxic masculinity. This is his passion project and “the first step to generational understanding and healing in black boys and men.” Introducing BOYS DON’T CRY.

What is “BOYS DON’T CRY”?

No, it is not the Frank Ocean version that released in August. This version of Boys Don’t Cry is a creative interactive project curated by Smith about topics, including but not limited to: toxic hyper-masculinity, gender roles, America’s stereotype of the black male, Black America’s monolithic outlook on the black male, and all of its weighing effects on black boys and men today. Over the years, the black community has seen the repercussions of our narrow-mindedness when it comes to the aforementioned ideas via gang violence, abuse towards black women + LGBTQIA people, the disconnect and disband of black families due to ignorance and stubbornness. It is time to evolve past the archaic nature of hyper machoism.

How will this project be different?

You know what’s better than a project with one black man’s emotional journey? A project with multiple perspectives on this broad subject. In order for this to work, Smith is inviting black men with differing skin tones, sexual orientations, religious preferences, social backgrounds, etc. to participate. BLACK MEN ARE NOT MONOLITHIC and it is time for there to be a body of work where every black boy sees himself in what he reads because as we have seen, visibility and representation in multimedia is very important.

What can you submit?

Want to write a personal anecdote? Want to write a fiction story? Want to write a poem? Want to write a rap/song? Feel free to do so! The ultimate goal for #BOYSDONTCRY is to curate and release a highly creatively, honest, diverse and revolutionary body of work that attracts, teaches, and encourages young boys of color who find themselves in the same situations that some of us men are currently healing from, as well as, have already survived.

Where can contributors submit?

Contributors can submit their art, stories, songs/raps, etc. to boysdontcrystories@gmail.com.

The time is now. It is time to get liberated, emotionally and mentally, from this narrow minded idea of how a black man is allowed to feel, what a black man is allowed to do, and who a black man is allowed to love. Join the movement, black man. LET’S LIBERATE OUR LEGACY!

Additional information on http://www.boysdontcryblog.tumblr.com/.


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