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This Is What 100 Years Of Black Fashion Looks Like And It’ll Remind You That Being Black Is Lit

There’s a whole lot of history/herstory.

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There’s so much to cover when we talk about black history and the influence of fashion. So we re-created iconic historical looks from black culture throughout the years, and damn:

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From the 1920s to the 1930s, the Harlem Renaissance represented an artistic eruption for black people, expressing self-determination through writing, music, and entertainment.

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With the rise of jazz, Harlem became known for its clubs and performers...

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...with notable figures like Zora Neale Hurston, Josephine Baker, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, and Jean Toomer.

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Despite segregation, black people worked on the front lines and behind the scenes during World War ll.

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During this time, the military had a policy of assigning black soldiers to labor-intensive roles, based on the belief that they were “unsuited” to serve as officers.

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But by the end of the war, nearly 700,000 black men (and some women) had served in the US military, including the Tuskegee Airmen and the black soldiers that served at the Battle of the Bulge.

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During the civil rights movement (late 1950s to 1960s), a polished “Sunday best” look gave credence to civil rights activists...

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...and helped them achieve important milestones like the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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In the black community, natural hair, Afros, and African cloth became symbols of African heritage and pride and were further popularized throughout the 1960s.

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The 1960s and 1970s marked the evolution of Motown. During this time, the black beauty industry was revitalized and artists like Diana Ross and the Jackson 5 paved the way for the black community.

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In the 1960s, costumes for women were sleek and sparkling.

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And by the ’70s, they were more expressive of an artist's identity.

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The ’80s were all about rap music.

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While hip-hop developed in New York City throughout the ’70s, the mid-’80s would become known as the "golden age" of rap, with groups like Run-D.M.C. breaking into mainstream sound.

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Artists like Big Daddy Kane were among the most fashionable rappers of the era, known for thick chains, big-shouldered jackets, and four-finger rings.

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It wasn't until the ’90s that hip-hop really went mainstream. This was also a pivotal moment in time for black America, with the beating of Rodney King and the O.J. Simpson trial.

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Black women were also trying to find their roles in hip-hop. Women like Ann Carli and Wendy Day were entrepreneurial advocates for the growing scene.

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Clothes with political messages began to gain popularity in the ’90s.

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This trend has carried over to the present day, with the Black Lives Matter movement using fashion to make a statement.

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After Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012, his dark hoodie became a symbol of societal prejudice and the oppression of black people in America.

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But with every defeat the black community faces, we still rise.

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