The Black Man Can

Connecticut in Color: Hartford Native Breaks Stereotypes With ‘The Black Man Can'

NBC Universal, Inc.

For The Black Man Can founder Brandon Frame, making sure the world can see Black men in all their goodness was a one-time passion project that’s now become a virtual expression of Black joy.

“I think I wondered, do people want to see positive images and 12 years later I can say that they absolutely do,” said Frame.

The Hartford native and Windsor High grad started The Black Man Can in 2010 as a blog to break stereotypes and show positive images of Black men.

Today, it’s a massive digital presence with 900,000 followers on Instagram. People from around the world checking this feed to see Black men thriving from fatherhood to fun, career and success.

He was inspired early on as a student at the historic Morehouse College and wanted to replicate the community he found at the historically Black, all male institution.

From images as simple as this picture of three Black doctors all standing over feet feet in the operating room dispelling the myth that Black men of their stature can only play basketball, to a viral video of a little boy with autism and his barber and the game they play together to help him get through his haircuts, the platform showcases positive images Frame said aren’t prevalent enough in society.

The feedback he gets from all over is proof.

“So many people who commented said ‘Ooh… I had that same experience.’ That was so powerful that just one post can bring a community together," Frame said.

The site's reach now goes beyond the internet.

There’s a clothing line and a deck of affirmation cards. There’s even a children’s book about a little Black boy learning to tie a tie, something Frame has taken with him when as The Black Man Can hosts summits around the country and meet-ups that celebrate Black men.

For Frame, what started as a goal of showing a side of men like him the world often doesn’t see is now a calling.

“It’s only as powerful as the work that Black men are doing. It’s all about what we’re accomplishing and making sure the world knows about it," he said.

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