Vogue isn’t exactly where you think you’d find an accurate picture of civil rights in America, but it is. The multifaceted magazine was founded in 1882 as a weekly, high-society journal and in 1909 Condé Nast purchased the magazine, turning it into a women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine.
It took 65 years for Beverly Johnson, the first African American Model, to grace the August 1974 cover. Now, 44 years later, Tyler Mitchell, only 23, became Vogue’s first black photographer. The 23 year-old from Atlanta, GA shot Beyoncé for Vogue’s September Issue. It took 136 years, but with Beyoncé’s help, it happened. Mitchell took this fact to heart, in an Interview with Vogue, he commented, “For so long, black people have been considered things. We’ve been thingified physically, sexually, emotionally. With my work I’m looking to revitalize and elevate the black body.”
With this in mind, even if you’re not one to typically pick up an issue of Vogue, this month give it a glance, a page, pick it up and admire history in the making. And while you’re at it enjoy the stunning images Mitchell was able to capture of Beyoncé . Here’s to progress, Beyoncé, and most importantly, Tyler Mitchell.