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Recently, I’ve been thinking ALOT about black women and fashion. I want to dig into the amazing ways we’ve influenced fashion culture and the ways culture has influenced us black women across the globe from the States to Africa, to Asia and beyond.
I decided to do a basic image search on the interwebs to get a visual of what black American women’s style and fashion has been throughout the decades. Hence, this compilation of beautiful, heart-warming photos spanning the 1900’s that show how our OUR style has evolved throughout the years.
This series only highlights everyday black women – NOT celebrities, models, men, kids, babies, or animals. There are no captions. Only black women, in all our glory.
What was interesting and frustrating about scouring the Internet for these photos was how difficult it was to find them. A basic Google search for “street style for black women” or “black women fashion” yielded the same photos of celebrites over and over. Also, what’s ironic is that there were more results for pictures taken in the earlier decades (when photography and personal cameras were not as prominent) than in more recent times. That’s why this series ends with the 1990’s – I couldn’t find any images for the 2000’s and 2010’s.
There’s clearly a lack of representation of us everyday black women having our pictures taken and publicized in the media. In fact, this issue was recently brought up by a blogger, stating that street style photographers shy away from capturing women of color or diverse women. That definitely showed in my basic search. For the 2010’s and beyond, we’ll change that.
In the meantime, enjoy this series. Black is beautiful. Black women are beautiful. We are stylish. We are the trend setters. WE ARE FASHION.
Source: ORANGE Magazine
Source: Vintage Everyday
Source: Carnegie Museum of Art / Teenie Harris Archives
Sources: Black Southern Belle
Sources: ChiTown Fashionista, FPG/ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES
Source: Jamel Shabazz