It's natural to want our daughters to emulate rule-breaking and gender tradition-defying role models, and finding creative and enriching ways to educate our girls on women's rights issues is a worthy and challenging task. After seeing a photo series by a mother featuring her daughter dressed as inspirational women such as Amelia Earhart and Jane Goodall, the parents of Lily Bushelle decided to shine a light on prominent female figures in African-American history by photographing their daughter as she took on various women's personas.
Marc Bushelle is a New York-based photographer, and what began as a family project to celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month has turned into a wonderful learning experience for Lily. By showing her educational videos and reading books about each of the amazing women she was dressing up as, Lily is getting a deeper understanding of the lives and times of these accomplished females, all while playing dress up!
This beautiful and poignant photo series raises awareness of numerous important and amazing African-American women, including writer Toni Morrison, aviator Bessie Coleman, astronaut Mae Jamison, Admiral Michelle Howard (the highest ranking African-American woman in the U.S. military), performer Josephine Baker, and singer/model Grace Jones. Replicated and photographed with a tremendous eye for detail, Bushelle’s images of his daughter alongside actual photos of the honored women create an uplifting and positive message for all young girls. To make the images accessible to all, Bushelle loaded them to his Facebook page. We hope he continues this series starring his luminous and vivacious daughter, so we can all learn more about African-American women throughout history.
Lead Image of Bessie Coleman © National Air and Space Museum
All images of Lily © Marc Bushelle