Being a first generation child of immigrant heritage, it is very important to bring light to the gravity of the impact of standards, conditions and environments my ancestors have endured; the stereotypes, ridicule and pain throughout many decades and centuries of exploitation, servitude and discrimination.
This is my message to the fashion industry, a heartfelt plea to find others that resemble who I am, what I have experienced and what I exalt. A golden opportunity to change narratives that are negatively formed around the image of black individuals. A protest that signifies the continuous fight, what the struggle resembles after five hundred years, but also the beauty of black people coming together and uniting for change.
I would like the industry to hear my cry for appreciation, to see beyond my skin as a tool for marketing. Beyond an accessory. Beyond false inclusivity. Being black signifies the continuous fight that is met daily with micro and macro aggressions, discrimination and systemic racism in an “all lives matter” reality.
My message is to open your eyes and see the beauty in and within our skin; the stories that come with our heritage. Truly feel the emotion. Educate yourself on the history. Be the change you appear to identify with through your black squares.