Hair, makeup, and wardrobe by Briana Cece
Photo by Charles Long Photography
Man Moment: Jean-Sebastien Pougnand, model, musician, and fashion consultant. Photo by Olivia Rose for i-D.
Valeria Perojo Frias, born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1926. Photo circa 1940s. This is one of the first pictures I shared on VBG, found via Scott Schuman’s fantastic blog, The Sartorialist. It was submitted by Ms. Frias’s daughter, Ena Frias, and she provided this description to The Sartorialist:
"This is my beautiful mother, Valeria Perojo Frias, born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba on March 23, 1926. This photograph was taken sometime in the mid to late 1940’s. I believe she was at a christening of a friend’s child in Havana. She was an amazing and inspirational woman - making her way to the US with my father by way of Miami in late 1959, and ending up in New York City two years later, where I was born and raised. She was always a fashionista and had that amazing aura that exuded beauty, charm and grace. And boy could she pose for a picture, eh? She always will be my very own personal style icon.”
(Source: theloveunlimited, via thechanelmuse)
One of the few things that I disdained while filming the movie was the makeup used to paint the Puerto Ricans the same color. We Sharks were all the same homogenous brown! Our gang, including me, was a uniform tobacco color, and that was just plain wrong and inaccurate. Puerto Ricans, with their varied genetic ancestry – Spanish, Taino Indian, Black, Dutch – are born with a broad palette of skin colors, from outright white to true black. — Rita Moreno on filming West Side Story in her memoir Rita Moreno (via thatsnotwhatiheard)
Dahomey’s Warrior Women
Speaking of West Africa, the Dahomey Warrior Women involves a fascinating history that spans nearly 200 years. It was during this time that the elite squad of female warriors fought and died for the border rights and inter-tribal issues in the ancient kingdom of Dahomey.
These women, who outranked their male counterparts, were given far more privileges, including the ability to come and go from the palaces as they pleased (unlike the men). They were so revered for their warrior prowess, The Smithsonian explains, that men were taught to keep their distance:
“Recruiting women into the Dahomean army was not especially difficult, despite the requirement to climb thorn hedges and risk life and limb in battle. Most West African women lived lives of forced drudgery. Gezo’s female troops lived in his compound and were kept well supplied with tobacco, alcohol and slaves – as many as 50 to each warrior, according to the noted traveler Sir Richard Burton, who visited Dahomey in the 1860s. And “when amazons walked out of the palace,” notes Alpern, “they were preceded by a slave girl carrying a bell. The sound told every male to get out of their path, retire a certain distance, and look the other way.” To even touch these women meant death.”
Yet as colonialist ambitions grew in the region, the Dahomey female warriors eventually grew sparse. Fierce combat missions to crush the independent kingdom eventually succeeded, and in the 1940s, it is said that the last of the female warriors died.
I’ve posted about this incredible military force for 1800s Week previously, and you can read more about women warriors of color in this Masterpost. There’s also Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey by Stanley B. Alpern.
So somebody eplain to me why the hell that book author decided that Greek’s people’s history was needed to legitimate Black people’s lives and accomplishments?!
Dahomey nation is also one of the places in ancient Africa where homosexuality among the women was documented.
Just adding this cause “there was no homosexuality before the white man came” is a popular lie.
Those interested would be better served by checking out Edna G. Bay’s Wives of the Leopard: Gender, Politics and Culture in the Kingdom of Dahomey (University of Virginia Press, 1998):
Looking at Dahomey against the backdrop of the Atlantic slave trade and the growth of European imperialism, Edna G. Bay reaches for a distinctly Dahomean perspective as she weaves together evidence drawn from travelers’ memoirs and local oral accounts, from the religious practices of vodun, and from ethnographic studies of the twentieth century. Wives of the Leopard thoroughly integrates gender into the political analysis of state systems, effectively creating a social history of power…[T]he book provides an accessible portrait of Dahomey’s complex and fascinating culture without exoticizing it.
A free preview is here.
Skip Market. Late 19th Century
Salta, Salta Province, Argentina
Celia Cruz (October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003).
inezandvinoodh: Thank you sweet @oliviertheyskens for digging up this archive veined bodysuit for our shoot with @fkatwigs for @dazedmagazine ! Kisses iv
what I really need is a coven/house of Black drag queens and trans women witches tearing the streets of NYC alive
pls and thanx
all-magical Black ballroom scene plssss
If you want a BLATANT example of anti-blackness -
look at how indigenous African religions and any of their descendants like Voodoo, Vodou, Santeria and Condomble are demonized and simplified in western culture.
Our media, from songs to movies and tv shows, portrays them as totally malicious and foriegn….