THE RESURGENCE OF BLACK BOY JOY


LIVISH may be written from the female POV but that doesn't mean the male perspective is void in this space. Over the past month I've witnessed the resurgence in 'Black Boy Joy,' due in large part to Malik Eli, a black content creator who innocently posted photos of himself happily playing in a field with the caption "i frolicked for the first time today. Y’all ever try frolicking?!? Why no one tell me about this." This post inadvertently started what he calls the #frockling movement. Within the same week a photo of two boys meditating in a grass lawn had gone viral on Twitter.




frol·ic /ˈfrälik/ verb: to play and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically.



The macho attitudes of previous generations would have never held space for frolicking but this generation is making way for all forms of self expression. The rise of Black Boy Joy over the last few years has created a space for black men to indulge in whatever hobbies, style or emotions they see fit. They're choosing to redefine what makes a man and saving the tough guy act for anyone daring to challenge it.


For example, In year prior being a fan of anime was considered "nerdy" and being a guy in theatre was "unmanly" (especially in the black community). Now the same interests just as normal as being a sports buff — and seen as cool if you really know your shit! The days of judging another man's interests are fading.


The reawakening of black male happiness is just the boost of wholesomeness we need right now so I spoke with 4 black men (including Malik himself) who are doing an amazing job at being themselves. Each of them shared how they experience Black Boy Joy and why it's important to express yourself freely.



MALIK EL

Content Creator @ashymalikk


What inspired you to go frolicking that day?

It was really a spur of the moment thing for me, i personally just felt extremely happy and wanted to remember that moment!


How would you define the “Frolicking Movement” and how do you hope it progresses/inspires other black men?

I just want other black men to see that it’s okay to be THEM we aren’t always gonna fit this mold of how society tells us we should carry/are expected to carry ourselves as black men and that’s okay.


What does Black Boy Joy mean to you?

Living life authentically and in the moment. Allowing yourself to get consumed in whatever it is you’re doing!


Why is it important?

There’s so many forces in society that try taking joy from us. It’s important to seek joy wherever you can whenever you can. Even with the little things because life is short & all things are temporary!

When was the last time you frolicked/did some form of self care?

Yesterday! I’m back in New York so there’s not as many fields to frolic in but I went for a walk and got sun, so for me that was equally as enjoyable.



OMARI HASANI

Social Media Manager and Consultant, @omari_hasani


What does Black Boy Joy mean to you?

It’s pride. It’s being able to show up fully as myself free from expectations.


Why is it important?

Sometimes I look back and I wish that I knew that it was okay to celebrate being different. That your blackness doesn’t have to show up as one way or the other. Down to your masculinity doesn’t have to look a certain way for you to be considered a man. It’s all beautiful and you can be proud and happy about that. So it’s important for me that people younger than me know that’s it’s okay to be who you are.


When was the last time you frolicked/did some form of self care?

Self care is important, and I think the best form for me is being around my family and loved ones. Enjoying the moment, free from worry. Frolicking for me is not just the movement, but it’s also laughter and being surrounded by love. That alone brings me so much joy.





JALEN CHANDLER

Creative Director and Author, @jay.soull


Why does Black Boy Joy mean to you?

Black Boy Joy means to that you are being yourself and 100% truest form and not letting anyone or anything define your joy and things that’s bring you joy weather its your style , hair , music choices and just being able to release it to the world and standing tall and believing in you.


Why is it important?

it’s import because our parents generation and this generation has made it hard for men to simple things like cry and there many different way to be man and it’s okay to express yourself and all forms and just break down these generational curses “ what men shouldn’t do “ when really we can do whatever we please because it’s only your life and one life to live.


When was the last time you frolicked/did some form of self care?

it’s been a long time since i “ frolicked “ but i did recently go to the beach and saw and relax and enjoyed the breeze.





WORLD ROY

Songwriter/Producer and Activist, @worldroy


Why does Black Boy Joy mean to you?

A moment of peace. Being a black male in America you constantly have to be aware of how big you are and make yourself smaller so as not to be perceived as a threat. Black boy joy is seeing a black man find a moment of peace where they can be happy and their full expressive selves.


Why is it important?

Those moments of joy are fleeting especially now, but necessary so you never forget that you have an impact on your surroundings and the world as a whole.


When was the last time you frolicked/did some form of self care?

Here recently, my girl made me; which is important cause black men tend to stay as solid as possible as a form of safety. Like all things black women help center us, and give a safe space to be soft and strong.


It's great to hear black men speak openly about taking part in their own joy and self care. Hopefully this continues and becomes a bare minimum within our community.


I want to thank the gentlemen who took the time to provide considerate and thoughtful answers. Each of them bring such amazing creativity and voices to the online space so I highly recommend checking them out. Their social media has been linked above!

by Violet Banks

#LIVISH

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