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Meet The Black Photographer, Writer, Cosmetologists, And Creative Director Responsible For Beyoncé's Latest Vogue Cover

Beyoncé's historic September Vogue cover story was brought to us by a crew of unapologetically black creatives: photographer Tyler Mitchell, writer and Jezebel editor Clover Hope, creative director Kwasi Fordjour, hairstylist Neal Farinah, and makeup artist Sir John.

Beyoncé's latest Vogue covers have finally arrived and the story behind the cover story is just as moving as the images themselves.

Vogue / Via vogue.com

"When I first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because black people did not sell," Beyoncé told Clover Hope in the prestigious September issue cover story. "Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer."

Vogue / Via vogue.com

Yes, you read that correctly. In its 125-year history, fashion bible Vogue has never had a black photographer shoot any of its covers. That is until this year, when Beyoncé made the deliberate decision to have 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell photograph both covers and the accompanying editorial spread.

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"Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like," Beyonce explained. "That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell."

The Brooklyn-based Atlanta native has a stunning photography book—El Paquete—to his name, as well as a B.F.A in film and TV from NYU and a gorgeous, wide-ranging photography and film portfolio that includes campaigns and editorial work with brands like Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, American Eagle, and Converse, and celebrities like Spike Lee, Lil Uvi Vert, Zazie Beetz, and Solange Knowles. “For so long, black people have been considered things,” Tyler told Vogue. “We’ve been thingified physically, sexually, emotionally. With my work I’m looking to revitalize and elevate the black body.”

As for Beyoncé's interview, her candid words were told to NYC-based Jezebel Culture editor Clover Hope.

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Two days following the release of Beyonce's game-changing visual album Lemonade, she published an essay that deftly explores the visual album's complexities and Beyonce's increasingly FUBU artistry with a remarkable sense of authority, care, and thought.

"[Beyoncé] knows silence is as much a tactic as a necessity," Clover wrote in the 2016 essay. "And when it breaks, it’s something magical." So, Beyoncé breaking said silence with an exclusive as-told-to feature penned by another black woman? Black girl magic to the umpteenth power.

When you're called upon to work with Beyoncé on her VOGUE September cover! https://t.co/EmWP4RyBls

For hair and makeup, Beyoncé tapped hairstylist Neal Farinah and makeup artist Sir John, black beauty industry ICONS with whom she's worked with countless times throughout her career.

Instagram: @nealfarinah

The magnitude of his work was not loss on Neal: "So many times one is judged by their hair texture or skin color," he wrote on Instagram. "I’m so proud and honored to have been a part of such an amzing [sic] shoot, braiding the queens all natural curly hair! Now what?!"

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Rounding out this black excellence is none other than Kwasi Fordjour, who served as creative director on the visually-intoxicating spread which also happened to be his first Vogue cover. Currently a Creative Coordinator at Parkwood Entertainment—Beyonce's management and entertainment company, Fordjour told OUT Magazine that he got his start by interning for Beyonce's musical director.

Instagram: @jayoncecarteriv

In regards to the significance of all of these hires, Beyoncé said it best: "If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own," she told Clover. "They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose."

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The ball's in your court now, Mainstream Media!!!

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