Mom, daughter celebrate Black history with daily dress-up

Black History Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids mom and daughter are celebrating Black History Month with a special game of dress-up.

Every day in the month of February, Taylor Trotter takes photos of her 5-year-old daughter Paisley dressed as different Black people in history. They put the photos side by side, post them to Facebook and use the caption to tell the story of different Black trailblazers.

“I just really wanted to make sure that she loves both sides of herself and loves who she is,” said Trotter as she sat next to her daughter.

The pair have been posting the side-by-side photos every Black history month for three years now. Paisley has dressed like Sojourner Truth, Stokely Carmichael, Viola Davis and Kamala Harris, among many others.

At the end of the month, all the photos are put into a book for Paisley to look at and learn from throughout the year.

This year, the Trotter’s are also using their annual Black History Month project to pay special tribute to Black lives lost to police brutality. Trotter says she’s teaching Paisley the stories of people like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

“If she’s old enough to experience racism, which unfortunately we have a couple times, kids are old enough to learn about it,” Trotter said. “I just want to educate her now. You don’t know everyone’s intentions and the world may perceive you differently just because of the color of your skin.”

Trotter says she realizes Paisley’s experience as a biracial child will likely be much different from her own. She says she wants her daughter to have the tools to navigate hate and have the inspiration to keep moving forward like all those who came before her.

“Just kicking down the glass ceiling. When you get there, it doesn’t mean that you need to be stopped. You go through those barriers and you can do whatever you want as long as you have that mindset in life,” Trotter said.

Trotter says on the last day of the month, she has Paisley dress up as herself to remind her that she is also Black history. The 5-year-old says she one day hopes to make history becoming the president of the United States.

To follow the Trotter’s daily Black History Month postings, check out their Facebook page.

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