This time each year we celebrate the heritage of a resilient group of people, remember the selfless acts of those willing to fight for change and why we must continue to power forward! Celebrating our heritage and culture has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember and it is something I truly take pride in. We as a nation have gone on a tremendous journey to reach the way of life that some of us take for granted; the most basic human rights were denied to people because of the color of their skin. This great nation once had practices that were down right despicable, many lives were lost and the journey has been vast but their efforts were not in vain.we have come a Long Way.. Black History Month is a time to Rejoice, Remember, Pay Homage and Empower.
I spent the first day of Black History Month with my own little piece of history, my Nana. We had been planning on seeing the movie “SELMA” for weeks now and coincidentally the first of February our schedules allowed it. Phenomenal movie! There were times when I was literally on the edge of my seat, holding my heart because I could almost feel the pain these people endured. The hatred was almost unreal because I have been blessed in my life to have never dealt with this type of ignorance. The courage, the willingness to give their own lives and the determination far surpassed any amount of hate formed against them. After the movie we sat in the car just reliving every moment from the movie and then Nana laid one on me, “I can’t believe how young Dr. King was when I saw him speak.” WAIT A MINUTE! I had no idea that she had seen one of the greatest visionaries to touch the earth in real life! She went on to tell me that in 1958, she saw Dr. King speak in Detroit at a NAACP event she almost didn’t go to because her chapter sent her from Long Island, NY to Detroit on a bus. She described a young, poised man who was “far beyond his years” with a entourage of men by his side. He was the guest speaker and the place was packed, she and her friends only found space to “sit” on stairs looking onto the podium. No one was able to take their eyes away from him, he was so precise with his words, incredibly educated and shared a message of a peaceful movement forcing change upon this nation. The questions poured from me, I just couldn’t get enough of her incredible story.
In honor of Black History month, each week I will share a few people who inspire me to never give up on my dreams, people who have paved the way and visionaries within the world of fashion.
ANDRE LEON TALLEY
Andre Leon Talley is and has been one of the most influential people in the fashion industry for over 20 years and a front row regular in any fashion show that matters. The Ivy League grad (MA French Studies) is known for his unapologetic opinions during his time as editor of American Vogue and his wildly eccentric fashion. With humble beginnings, being raised in the pre civil rights southern america, Tally used his platform at Vogue and became a true advocate for new African American designers and pushed for designers to include more African American models in their shows. Thank you Andre Leon Talley, for never forgetting where you came from while kicking down doors that paved the way for many of us to pour through.