I hope you don't mind but I've taken the liberty of having a little play with your original photograph.
I'm assuming that the original was under exposed (was your t-shirt white?), since when I opened it with a levels dialogue there was virtually nothing above about mid tone, so by adjusting the high end slider I arrived quickly at this version.
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I like to think that even that simple adjustment has improved the photograph somewhat.
Image is lacking bright spots so my guess is underexposed as well. Makes the image look a bit grey.
For black and white I always set a white point and a black point (I use Photoshop). The darkest part will then be black ant the brightest, which before was grey, will be white. If it's still to dark one can play around with the settings of the white point but the result will be blown highs.
Hope you don't mind.
White point is set in the glasses to the far right. Black point is in the hair by the ear. The sharpening I added isn't the best but I just wanted to se what it looked like.