Deep Ellum Photo Changing Perception of Men of Color Now Going Viral

A photo taken in Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood is getting exposure far beyond North Texas.

The photo shows about 100 men of color, dressed in suits, surrounding 6-year old Harper Anthony, of Chicago. The boy also wore a suit, and without direction, put his fist in the air.

"It's a great capture," said NeAndre Broussard, of Black Menswear. "It shows that while you're up next, we're all behind you and pushing you where you need to go."

Broussard started the Dallas-based Black Menswear social media campaign in an effort to change perceptions and narratives of men of color.

"It's always like, go find the worst picture they can find," Broussard said about media images of black men that often show them in T-shirts and hoodies. "So I started Black Menswear as a way to push out positive imagery, which for me, came through the suit."

"This is gonna go viral," is what photo coordinator and photographer Santos Paris first thought at the Deep Ellum photo-shoot. "People thrive off drama, but we want people to thrive off of positivity."

The photo has been shared by celebrities, including Common and Sean "Diddy" Combs. "When Didddy put it on his Instagram story, at that point I was like, 'Wow,'" said Broussard.

The first Black Menswear photo-shoot was a year and a half ago in Las Colinas. Since then, Broussard has used a 'flash mob' model to gather sharp-dressed men of color for photo-shoots in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Houston, Los Angeles and Dallas.

None have had the impact of the picture taken in Deep Ellum at the end of February.

"My friends kept calling me and said my picture is blowing up," said Annania Tadesse, the photographer who captured the viral image. "I'm glad that it's sending a positive message out there."

Broussard said his social media campaign is leading to a real life menswear line. He hopes to launch it by the end of the year.

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