Black excellence for the culture (St. Louis style)


Happy fourth of the lie y’all.

Raise your hand if you enjoy looking through albums from decades past? ??‍ It’s something about the vintage outfits and timeless smiles and smirks that bring me joy. 

“Black excellence photos for the culture” dropped today. Edits were promptly made and pictures released purposely on this “holiday”. It’s only a holiday for some…to others it’s a day off to kick it and rest and remind-people-why-celebrating-the-fourth-for-its-intended-purpose-should-not-be-a-thing-for-blacks. Do not debate this. *insert one of Frederick Douglass’ most famous speeches, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”*

Thinking of the joy pictures from our elders photo albums bring, don’t we want the same for future generations? Well my lovely soror and freedom fighting activist, Ohun Ashe*, is thinking about those coming after us. I met Ohun Ashe during Ferguson protests and I’m grateful for her presence in my life; in the lives of all blacks in our city. She fights for us and puts in work on our behalf behind the scene and ON the scene.

Her Facebook post calling for all ages and intersections of blackness read:

“BLACK ST. LOUIS!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s come together and capture a moment of Black Excellence. Think of it like a high school senior class picture but instead this is to commemorate ALL BLACK folks in St. Louis.

It’s 2019, what if a hundred years from now the younger generations were able to look back at this day and see Black folks out in a MASSIVE number. This could also happen annually to document Black people in St. Louis throughout the years. So grab your friends, family, kid(s), aunts/uncles, EVERYONE and join the photo fun.”

The rain stopped the show the first time but it was clear blue skies for the rescheduled night! She shared in a later video that it’s “a moment for us to get together, to gather. But it’s also a moment to commemorate blackness  in 2019.” Is more explanation needed than that? *whispers to organizers in other cities: ?DO IT*

I was honored to share the moment with my children. One day, when I’m explaining what Stl was like when they were born and too young to have a care in the world, they’ll look back and realize what a cool and necessary idea it was to put these photos into St. Louis Black history. #representationmatters

*Check out, run by Ohun Ashe. It’s a Black business directory in St. Louis. It has a calendar of Black events happening in St. Louis AND hosts a Black Owned Catalog featuring Black Businesses from all over the USA.