Kwame Brathwaite. Untitled (Nomsa with Africa). 1964–68
This picture by Kwame Brathwaite belongs to a history honoring the natural African American style identity that, in the early 1960s, gave rise to the Black Is Beautiful movement. It’s a portrait of his sister-in-law, Nomsa Brath, one of the founding members of Grandassa Models, sporting natural Afro-hair and holding a map of Africa. Together with his brother Elombe Brath, Brathwaite was part of a growing community of Pan-African activists inspired by pioneering Black thinkers such as Marcus Garvey and Carlos A. Cooks. He fought against ideas grounded in white supremacy and played an influential role in the national conversation on race pride within the Black community.