Feel the Vintage #BlackGirlMagic with These 1970s Pageant Photos
This year may be known for a lot of bad things, but one beacon of hope for humanity has been the rise of the Beyoncé-approved #BlackGirlMagic movement. From a renewed commitment to letting their natural hair flow free and the youthful Art Hoe Collective, to the endless list of achievements that women of color have made throughout history (see: Michelle Obama’s beautiful DNC speech), it’s clear that the girls who run the world are black and beautiful—but that’s no revelation.
Decades ago, Raphael Albert took the mantra to heart as he created the Miss Black and Beautiful pageant, which ran through the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s in West London. After emigrating to Britain from Grenada and studying photography, Albert began to document hundreds of community events in West London during the era and the Afro-Caribbean community throughout the country.
Albert may have passed away in 2009, but his catalogue of black beauty lives on. And, for the first time ever, it’s become the subject of a solo gallery show at the Autograph ABP Gallery in London. Curated by Renée Mussai, Raphael Albert: Miss Black and Beautiful features over 50 prints that show the diversity of the women who competed over the years, proving that the black girl magic is alive and real, no matter what decade it is.
Happen to be in London? You can check out Raphael Albert: Miss Black and Beautiful at Autograph APB through September 24.
Stay tuned to Milk for more black girl magic.
All photos by Raphael Albert.