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Black is Beautiful - Highlighting Black Voices this Black History Month

The Black is Beautiful movement was crucial back in the 1960’s for black women and men feel more empowered. Black History Month often showcases the struggles black people have faced to get to where they are now, but it is also a cause for celebration – to celebrate the achievements of black people! This October, we celebrate modern black women and men who continue to use their voices to empower others, while looking beyond beautiful doing so.

Image Source: Instagram @seangarrette

Representation matters and 2021 has delivered positive representation in young adult fiction. This year alone, there has been a significant rise in black authors publishing their debuts in young adult fiction, with Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones and Ace of Spades by Faridah àbíké-íyímídé  to name only a couple. It is heavily advised to check the trigger warnings for both of these books before reading, as they cover some difficult topics. Beasts of Prey is also a recent release on kindle – the paperback releases in January 2022 for UK readers – by Ayana Gray which is perfect for fans of the Shadow and Bone series.  

Yasmin Finney is quickly becoming one of the most influential transgender actresses. She started out on TikTok with her videos about growing up in Manchester as a trans woman and quickly gained a following of over 290 thousand people. Keep an eye out for her in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Heartstopper – an LGBTQ+ webcomic by Alice Oseman – as well as the upcoming coming of age movie ‘What If’.

Sean Garrette promotes skincare brands tailored towards black skin on his Instagram page. His goal is to find new products to promote to his following to keep their skin glowing all year round.

Pop on a podcast on your morning drive to work. I recommend Truth Be Told from KQED hosted by Tonya Mosley. She gives unfiltered advice to her listeners on how to thrive as a person of colour in America. Her appearance on the podcast has been described as “the friend you call after a long, exhausting day – the one who will laugh, cry, bitch and moan with you. The one who gets it.”  

Isabelle Ikpeme is a phenomenal make-up artist known for bold eyeshadow looks on her Instagram page. She is currently creating stunning looks for Halloween. With Poison Ivy and Tinkerbell being one of her first looks of the month, I wonder what else she has in store this Halloween…

Jay and Tina run Curlture UK, highlighting the beauty in your natural curls as well as black beauty and travel. If a business is black-owned, they want to know about it and they will tell you about it. They have appeared on Channel 4 but mainly discuss their topics on Instagram and their website where you can buy their book KINK.

Black History Month is a time to remember the struggles black people have faced, in the past and still in society today. Not long ago did the Black Lives Matter movement prove this. But it is also a time to highlight achievements, whether they be publishing a book or finding daily happiness within yourself – every achievement is cause for celebration.  

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