Studying this gorgeous and important "We Are Black History" photo shoot
No lies, I love fashion. It’s fun, it’s aspirational, it’s an everyday means of self-expression; but it’s also frustrating, and exclusive, and racially homogenous. Though Black women are often looked to for fashion and beauty trends, it is still hard to find black women to look up to when it comes to mainstream media. As a young (ish), biracial woman, I continue to have a hard time finding women in magazines and on the runways who like me. I also face the same issue at home. I love my mother, but we do not look at all alike At 5’4, and relatively pale, and blonde, people often think I am adopted.
But even with the fashion bizness as homogenous as it is and has been, I like to believe we are getting better all the time — there’s really nowhere to go but up The organization Style Influencers Group (SIG) is just one example of this improvement. The group, which bills itself as the “first of its kind,” is a network of women who focus on fashion, beauty, hair, and lifestyle, catering all their recommendations and tips to a “multicultural audience.” It’s reaching out to women on these topics, tapping influencers and sharing wisdom, in a way that is SO needed in this space.
In honor of Black History Month (which is nearing it’s end) the SIG did an editorial campaign that really caught people’s attention and put the group on the map. That series is called, “We Are Black History.” The images focus on recreating famous photographs of Black female icons — the women portraying the icons are by-in-large women of color who are affiliated with the worlds of beauty, fashion, and media. The campaign is being spread by via the hashtag #WeAreBlackHistory.
SIG chose to create the #WeAreBlackHistory series to honor the history of powerful, creative Black women and pay homage to this ever-important month. Co-founder Lexi Felder explains on their site that the movement is an attempt to, “foster a sense of unity among powerful Black women voices in the digital space.” She continues, “In no way are we claiming to be the next iteration of these icons. We’re simply paying homage to them for the way they’ve inspired us in our careers and beyond.” In doing so, they’re both honoring these women of the past who did so much, and recognizing these women of the present who are helping women like me to see ourselves in the world’s of fashion and beauty.
Hear are some of those portraits. They’re stunning and inspiring, just like the women behind them.Natural hair vlogger Taren Guy as blues soulstress Billie HolidayHuffington Post Fashion/Beauty Editor Julee Wilson-Wareham as Civil Rights Hero Rosa ParksEbony.com Editor Jamlah Lemeux as Black Power Queen Angela Davis