We often hear the brilliance of black girl magic, but let’s not forget about black boy joy. #BlackBoyJoy is necessary, now more than ever. I define it as celebrating the positivity of black males despite the stigma and stereotypes that are associated with them. #BlackBoyJoy is all I see when I look at my son. The happiness of being alive, excited about all things new and celebrating his milestones as he grows. Not having to worry about a thing. I love it! At the same time, these wonderful moments also saddens me.
The day after my son was born was the day George Zimmerman went to trial for the death of Trayvon Martin. My eyes were glued to the TV while in my hospital bed, watching the somber expressions on the faces of Trayvon’s family. It was heartbreaking. I immediately thought about my brand new baby boy that was now a part of this complicated world.
Almost 4 years later and I have no more fingers or toes to count the number of black males who have been unnecessarily killed by law enforcement. Or hearing the disheartening stories of young men like Kalief Browder who are wrongly accused of crimes and thrown into the "new Jim Crow", the U.S. criminal justice system. As a resident in the city of Chicago, it's become so common to hear about or personally be affected by the young black and latino males who are murdered daily.
Not only do these things give me motivation to help change the narrative of how black males are perceived in this society, I also take it as motivation to preserve the black boy joy my son possesses.
The media portrays his likeness as savage, someone who needs to be feared, killed or incarcerated. A threat. A life not valuable. A hopeless future. I REFUSE to let my son think or accept that this is who or what he is...Who his father is, who his grandfathers are or who is uncles are. I’m thankful they are all good examples for him.
As a mother of a black male, my fear is reality. The reality is I can preserve and celebrate his black boy joy, but I can’t protect him from what he will inevitably encounter because of the color of his skin and the pressure of what it means to be black and male in this country.
With that, all I can do is teach him who he really is, the line of kings he really comes from.
That slavery is not the beginning of our story.
That, yes, he will have to work twice as hard to be considered equal but not to feel defeated.
To be courageous and know that he is much more than what others may perceive him to be. To let no one else use that perception as a pawn to put him in the “sunken place.” (You’ll get it if you’ve seen Get Out)
To expose him to the many positive things this world has to offer instead of focusing on the negative.
To teach him to live his authentic self.
To arm him with intellect.
Allow him to enjoy being a kid.
And to always remind him of his black boy joy every single day.
Hey besties, take some time to show the black boys and men some love today! Celebrate their goodness. Share their #blackboyjoy!
Aspiring Mommy Mogul. Bodacious Wife. Career Woman. Bona fide Bestie. (and working on adding the title of Successful Badass). Eboni is a lifestyle blogger and Chi-town girl learning to balance it all with confidence, style, and what’s left of her sanity. When she's not getting her life together, you can find her exploring new restaurants, reading or spending time with family. Catch her on Instagram at
@bestiesandbrunch & @colorme_eboni