Carlton Mackey Creator of Black Men Smile® Social Enterprise

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I Love Ancestry

Carlton Mackey is the creator of BLACK MEN SMILE®, a viral social media platform and empowerment movement for Black men to “celebrate the way we see ourselves”.

 

Carlton Mackey is also the creator of the BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE® apparel line and author of 50 Shades of Black: Sexuality and Skin Tone in the Formation of Identity.

Explore I Love Ancestry’s curated selection of personal stories.

Mackey is an artist and scholar. He is the Director of the Ethics & the Arts Program and Associate Director of the Ethics and Servant Leadership (EASL) Program at the Emory University Center for Ethics. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies.

Read also: The Declaration of Bondage by Carlton Mackey

Black Joy is Revolutionary
Black Boy Art Show in Atlanta GA

 

As a community advocate, Carlton serves on the Atlanta Board of Education Ethics Commission and on the Advisory Board of Foreverfamily, an Atlanta non-profit surrounding youth with one or more incarcerated parent with the love of family and providing regular prison visitation.

For six years, Mackey served on the Board of Directors of The WonderRoot Center for Art and Social Change.

Carlton Mackey is also a professional photographer and local filmmaker. He was awarded a grant from the Emory University Center for Creativity and the Arts to create a photography exhibit to accompany his documentary 17 DEGREES AIN’T NOTHING, an intimate profile of five individuals living on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia.

For this work, Mackey was awarded the very first Creativity and the Arts Award by the Emory University Center for Creativity & the Arts. In 2013, Mackey was awarded Emory University’s Award of Distinction.

 

In 2012 Carlton Mackey created 50 Shades of Black. 50 Shades of Black is a multi-faceted platform for creating an interactive global dialogue like personal stories around issues of race, skin tone, sexuality, and identity.

Exploring these themes through visual art, literature, curated personal stories in blogs, educational curriculums, and workshops, 50 Shades of Black aims to explore the ways in which our individual experiences of race and sexuality give rise to the formation of our unique and complex identities.

In the Summer of 2013 Mackey published the 120-page book 50 Shades of Black Vol.1, the first volume of a three-volume series of coffee table books comprised of contributions from people all over the world in the form of scholarly essays, personal narratives, poems, photographs, paintings, and other artistic contributions.

Read also: The Declaration of Bondage by Carlton Mackey

What is 50 Shades of Black?

 

“At 50 Shades of Black, we hope to offer a deeper & more nuanced understanding of this diverse spectrum of black identity. It is in the recognition of this diversity that 50 Shades of Black also acknowledges both the historical ways in which race and gender have been constructed and the role that skin tone and sexuality play in shaping the way we engage the world, how we perceive beauty, and how we understand our own self-worth.”

Carlton Mackey is the creator of BLACK MEN SMILE®, a viral social media platform and empowerment movement for Black men.

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Published by I Love Ancestry

I Love Ancestry is a global issue advocacy campaign that explores identity, diversity, heritage and culture, highlighting the experiences of marginalized people and Indigenous communities around the world.


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