GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids mom and a photographer in Battle Creek are using their cameras and social media to highlight iconic African American figures during Black History Month.
Taylor Trotter and Christina Smith are individually doing what they can to educate their children, clients and peers about the trailblazing men and women in Black history.
Kids in West Michigan are taking part in the project and posing for the camera, but it’s not just any kind of photoshoot.
“I teach her where they came from, where they started how they got to where they are and what I hope she learns from them and similar character traits I hope she takes away from them as well,” Trotter said.
For the last four year, Trotter’s 6-year-old daughter Paisley has portrayed different Black icons everyday in the month of February.
Since their first social media posts, the pair have been featured on national outlets like Good Morning America.
Trotter says teaching her biracial daughter about her roots and current and past history that might not be taught in the classroom is important.
They prepare in January and February and post the photos to Facebook and Instagram during Black History Month.
They also share facts about each person they highlight which has received a lot of positive feedback from the community.
“I am learning so much,” one woman said on Trotter’s post.
Christina Smith is also using her platform to educate her network of friends online though she’s using her young clients to help get the message across.
Smith is a photographer in Battle Creek who has she wants them to feel empowered and channel their inner hero by having them come in as an African American they admire.
“It’s very much so to educate the children and the adults too because we are finding out things that we may not have known about some of these historical people,” she said.
Her project “Who Am I” brings out various young people across the state to her downtown studio. She posts a headshot of the child to social media and people have to guess who they are.
“I love how you are making black history so interesting,” one person commented.
It’s Smith’s first time doing this project though it won’t be her last. She’s eager to finish out this month and do the project again next February.
Six-year-old Amari Riley had a photoshoot last week. He dressed as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Riley is impressed with King and hopes to have some of the attributes when he runs for president someday.
“He said that it doesn’t matter that people are brown or white. It doesn’t matter who it is. You can still make things right,” Riley said.
If you would like photoshoot done with your child, you can email Smith at email@example.com.