I love to see a young girl go out a grab the world by the lapels
Life’s a bitch
You’ve got to go out and kick ass
For as long as I could remember, I have been inspired in some way, shape or form by the late and great Dr. Maya Angelou. Since the first time hearing her poem, “Phenomenal Woman” in elementary school, I knew that I wanted to be a “woman, phenomenally!” Being that it is Black History Month, not to ever be changed to or confused with “African American History Month”, I wanted to celebrate the life, legacy and bold style of this great woman while also paying homage!Huffington Post
This photo taken of Dr. Angelou at New York’s Village in the late 1950’s speaks poise, grace, sophistication and boldness. I chose this photo to mimic in my own 2017 modernized way, because everything about the style and confidence of Dr. Angelou reminds me of the woman I am growing into today.
In my modernized rendition of these photos, I would imagine that instead of a nice comfy bed, Dr. Angelou would be flaunting all of her daring style across an all black leather futon. The black on black to signify her empowerment. Instead of leaning on and reading over a vintage luggage bag, she’d be traveling with one of these new aged carry on roller bags. You know, to keep the strain off her glorious back! I imagine that the magazine she’d be reading would be an Essence Magazine Collector’s edition of the great legacy the Obamas just left us to miss for the next eight years to come. She’d be smiling in awe at the beautiful Michelle Obama and be thankful that young black girls had a chance to see themselves and their excellence in the first black First Lady of United States for eight years straight. In addition to that, she’d have the other magazine flipped open to a page on the latest fashion trend for black women, while also having Cornel West’s “Race Matters” book on deck to remind her of all that we are still fighting for. Of course, I can’t possibly leave out the minor details of an Apple iPhone 6 Plus just close enough to grab in case of an emergency or to check her instagram, and a stylish fur stool that she “DIY”d to add flare to the room!
Like I said, it is a “modernized rendition”. However, no amount of modernization could ever truly capture the essence, power, activism, and feminism of Dr. Maya Angelou. Myself, and so many black women like me who have grown up battling self love, acceptance and awareness are forever thankful for Dr. Angelou’s poems: “Still I Rise”, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and of course, “Phenomenal Woman” amongst so many others! We’re thankful, because we are still rising out of disparity, patriarchy and growing into Phenomenal Women that are no longer afraid or caged in by societal definitions of what our black womanhood or feminism should be. For that, we are forever grateful for the epitome of black excellence that was and still is Dr. Maya Angelou!
I hope that you all enjoyed reading. Comment below, like and share!
Until next time,
SLAY STYLISH xOxO
Photography by: Tia Dawn Photography