A network called Style Influencers Group recently commissioned an inspiring photo series of modern black women posing as their historical heroes.
The images, shot by photographer Jerome A. Shaw, are intended to empower the community, affect change, and start conversations.
“This project was so important to us because the mission of our collective is to come together and empower each other as people with low representation in this industry,” Christina Brown, co-founder of Style Influencers Group, told BuzzFeed Life.
And they didn’t just choose any women as models — they chose women who are proudly representing the movement online today.
“We chose these women not only because they resembled black history icons, but because they’re working everyday to break down barriers for black people,” Jessica Andrews, co-founder of Style Influencers Group, told BuzzFeed Life. “These women are starting viral movements to combat street harassment, reporting on the ground from Ferguson, and fighting for representation for designers of color.”
The inspiration for the photos goes beyond Black History Month.
“With increased awareness on social injustice, I wanted us to get together to recreate images of iconic black women for Black History Month to pay homage to these women that have paved the way for us,” Lexi Felder, co-founder of Style Influencers Group, told BuzzFeed Life.
The organizers said each influencer has a personal connection to the iconic woman she’s representing.
Women like activist Angela Davis…
Actress and singer Pearl Bailey…
And civil rights leader Coretta Scott King…
But they said they aren’t comparing themselves to the icons featured.
“There could never be another Rosa, Coretta, or Maya. And we aren’t claiming to be the second coming,” Andrews said. “But we know we wouldn’t be where we are today without their immeasurable sacrifices.”
“We’re simply paying homage to them for the way they’ve inspired us in our careers and beyond.”
“And we’re committed to honoring their legacy by continuing to bring about change in our community.”