Black people have never needed a runway to flaunt our style (though we’ll serve like Naomi when necessary). More than expressing our individuality, we’ve incorporated style into collective protest movements and political statements, from rocking afros to counter Eurocentric beauty standards to sporting dashikis to show pride in our African ancestry.

To celebrate ESSENCE Fashion House and New York Fashion Week, we’re going back in time for style moments that made a statement.

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