An intense debate went down on Instagram after BET posted a group photo with the caption: “There was a lot of #BlackBoyJoy at #ABFFHonors!”
The image included ‘Power’ star Omari Hardwick, R&B veteran Maxwell, R&B singer Luke James, and three other rising actors. Apparently, some people, mainly men, were not a fan of the “#BlackBoyJoy” hashtag, including rapper Ja Rule.
“Who’s behind this blackboyjoy hashtag NOT COOL VERY DEMEANING you don’t call a BLACK MAN A BOY PLS STOP THAT,” Ja writes. “It goes all the way back to slavery and segregation you don’t call ANY MAN A BOY it’s disrespectful… but takes on a whole different meaning for black men @bet should know better…”
Ja Rule’s reaction was welcomed by some, but many seem to disagree with his stance, including R&B singer Tank, and he slammed the “Clap Back” Queens rapper for not seeing the bigger picture.
“When one black man tears down another black man for simply doing things a little different than what he would that creates the divide,” Tank writes. “Here you are supposed to be a positive reinforcement to all young black men injecting positivity into our community and you’re hating it! These young men have done nothing but shine a light on black excellence! How in God’s name can u find something wrong with that? It’s not like you’ve been a beacon of hope for our community so I think you should rethink your position. Let’s these young men live in the success of their hard work! Please! #TheGeneral.”
Tanks feedback was also met by different viewpoints:
“What is he even saying? It’s literally the equivalent to black girl magic. It has nothing to do with the demeaning tone of slavery days. It’s an uplifting term for the culture. Always turning something positive into an issue.”
“@ruleyorkcity I think you’re looking at I the wrong way. From birth Black boys are robbed of a TRUE childhood experience. And that’s because Black boys are seen as adults far earlier than other races, they’re taught not to express emotions, their masculinity is constantly policed, and they’re portrayed as aggressive and violent. Please don’t attack this attempt to allow Black boys and men to express a more beautiful and vulnerable side to themselves. It has nothing to do with demeaning, but everything to do with our community rallying around our men and creating an environment in which they don’t have to be so “hard” all the time. Black men, I love you, and I love the hashtag #BlackBoyJoy ♥️”
“@therealtank I’m saying you criticizing a man for his critique about the hashtag but your missing the point. We as black men should never label ourselves anything less then that. We are MEN not boys and I agree with Ja, if you’re going to hashtag something call it #BlackMENjoy”
So Roomies, what’s your stance on #BlackBoyJoy?