She’s paying homage to women who have paved the way!
Kerry Washington celebrates "Black HERstory by honoring Rosa Parks, Wilma Rudolph and Beverly Johnson, USA Today reports.
Black History Month is always a time to highlight the iconic pioneers who have contributed to our rich present as well as the fearless trailblazers making strides towards an even brighter future. While BHM is every day around these parts, the month is a time for everyone to shine just a wee bit brighter, many taking to social media to highlight those who have paved the way.
Actress Kerry Washington decided she was going to highlight influential women who have made history, utilizing her platform to transform herself into character and recreate iconic photos from civil rights leader Rosa Parks, Olympic athlete Wilma Rudolph and supermodel Beverly Johnson, dubbing the posts “Black HERstory.”
Her first post was in honor of Beverly Johnson, the first Black woman to grace the cover of Vogue magazine in 1974. Washington recreated one of Johnson’s shots, thanking her for being a much needed representation in the fashion world for little Black girls everywhere.
“She showed little Black girls, the fashion industry, and the WORLD that Black is beautiful and powerful. Forever grateful to Ms. Beverly and to all of the Black models of this era that changed the game,” wrote Washington.
Johnson took to Washington’s comments to thank her and shower her with a little bit of reverence as well, writing, “You are so flawless in every way..Flawless in your performances..A Flawless Beauty. Thank you for honoring me. Happy Black HerStory!!.”
Later on in the month, Washington took the time to celebrate another influential Black woman, Olympic track & field athlete Wilma Rudolph. Dressed up in a short crop wig with a classic USA zip fleece pullover, holding a faux gold medal, Washington paid homage.
“Today in #BlackHERstory we honor “The Black Gazelle” herself, Wilma Rudolph. At the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, Wilma Rudolph won three Gold Medals and held three world records. Yep. She wasn’t the first Black athlete or the first female athlete to win three gold medals, she was the first ATHLETE. Wilma ran (literally!) so that Black athletes and Olympians could run too,” Washington captioned the photo.
Washington then took the time to highlight civil rights activist Rosa Parks, recreating her famous mugshot, complete with a tweed suit, glasses and jail booking number. Washington acknowledged Parks’ actions that eventually sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, also noting that long before she refused to give up her seat, Parks had been fighting hard for freedom. Washington encouraged us all to follow in Parks’ footsteps and take a stand.
“It was Rosa Parks’ act of civil disobedience on that bus that sparked a revolution. She took that seat in order to take a stand. The seat on the bus was her fighting stance - and so we continue the fight today, in whatever way we can! Lets ask ourselves, what can we do! Sit. Stand. March. Make calls. Volunteer. Talk to your family and friends. Do whatever you can and however you can. Rosa taught us that,” Washington wrote.
The posts have been liked more than 200,000 times, many thanking Washington for honoring these women and their historic contributions. The actress said she wanted to make sure that she provided a different view of our history this Black History Month.
“Black History is about more than just slavery and Jim Crow. Our history is a tapestry of beauty, culture, power, community, resilience, & strength. And through it all - the pain and the joy - Black women have held it down! So this #BlackHistoryMonth I want to celebrate and honor Black HERstory and embody my sisters who have paved the way for putting magic into the world,” she wrote.
We’d like to join in the chorus of gratitude by saying thank you Kerry for shining a light on Black HERstory.
Photo Courtesy of Kerry Washington/Instagram