The Black Cultural Forces Who Are Making Their Mark

There is no denying that Blackness influences culture on a global scale, whether it’s through the worlds of beauty, style, and even social media. And in recent years especially, it’s become customary for Black artists—from the realms of fashion, music, and beyond—to take their most intimate and formative life experiences and turn them into socially stimulating art. This common process is how select artists have shaped themselves not just as creators, but also as bona fide international influencers.


As Black History Month comes to a close, it’s imperative to understand that Black art and excellence should be celebrated far before the start of February and way beyond its conclusion. The Black artists who are flourishing today are a current collection of talent set to inspire for years to come.


Below are the designers, musicians, and creators who should absolutely be on your radar through 2020 and beyond.

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Aaron Philip


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i’m a new breed ? me by @wikkiehermkens ? styled by @sonnygroo, hair by @jeromehair, makeup by @sooparkmakeup ? @richiekeo @elitenyc ?

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Aaron Philip—an 18-year-old Antiguan–American model—is swiftly paving the way for transgender and disabled representation throughout the fashion and beauty industries. Philip’s career was jump-started by a single tweet in which she called out the modeling industry on its blatant discrimination toward trans and disabled individuals. A year later, Philip was signed by Elite Model Management and went on to appear in campaigns for Dove, Outdoor Voices, and Sephora, as well as grace the covers of magazines such as Paper and Gay Times.


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Raisa Flowers


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Even though JANUARY my birth month! That shit was long as hell! Welcome to black history month y’all! ?✨?✨❤️✨?✨

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Raisa Flowers is a makeup artist, fashion model, and certified Rihanna muse. Known for her innovative and experimental makeup aesthetic, Flowers’s talent has granted her the opportunity to work alongside Pat McGrath as a member of her nonpareil makeup team and as a model who has graced the runways for brands such as Savage x Fenty and Gypsy Sport. For Flowers, her no-holds-barred approach to her beauty, style, and overall self is a purposeful way of providing a new type of representation for the young women to come after her. The artist told Fashionista last year, “If someone wants to cast me for something, I always think, ‘What if a young girl who looks like me sees this?’ I always want it more for them and more for the ability to change people’s mindsets. Even if someone doesn’t like it, or doesn’t agree with it, they still see me out here doing it.”

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Sharon Chuter


Sharon Chuter isn’t simply a beauty CEO—she’s an unwavering advocate for the inclusion and celebration of Black women within the makeup industry. Since starting her makeup line Uoma Beauty (uoma being the Igbo word for “beautiful), Chuter has gone on to receive rave reviews from her customers and the beauty industry alike for her passionate approach to producing a diverse collection of cosmetics. “Many brands try to sell to Black women, but do not know the Black woman,” Chuter told Refinery29. “As a brand, Uoma celebrates and is conscious of our Afro-heritage. We are a brand by Black people for the world.”

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