• Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

‘GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty’ is an exquisite pictorial love letter to Black children

By John Karle

St. Martin’s Press

Glory Book cover. Photo provided

GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty,” by Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, the husband and wife team behind Creative Soul Photography, of Black girls as Disney princesses has gone viral.  

Taraji P. Henson, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Common, Alicia Keys, and Tyra Banks (among others) have all praised their work.  

The photos are incredibly striking, and the stories of the young models are so inspiring.  The photos were shot all over the world, throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa. 

The Chicago Tribune just wrote it up, and said, “Glory” is Blackness in all its grace and beauty by way of the next generation.” Kirkus Reviews called it “An exquisite pictorial love letter to Black children around the world.” Booklist magazine called it “glorious indeed” in their review. 

Photo from Glory. Photo provided

 “But hardly any photo collection compares to the magic that is Glory. A must for our home. A must for Black children, for all children.” –Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestseller and National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be An Antiracist.

Gorgeous photography, but so much more. A truly inspired and inspiring work that speaks eloquently to our inherent beauty and power.” — Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower.

“Seeing our beauty reflected in our children and having our children see their natural beauty be fully embraced is a gift to the race and a gift to the world. This transcendent work acknowledges the grace, and brilliance held in our Black bodies.” — Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times bestseller.

Sarah Amaoko is fifteen years old and in her final year at Betenase M/A JHS. She is an Akan and the last born in her family, who hails from the Sekyedumase community. Like her friends Pokuaa and Naomi, she also helps her family farm to harvest food to sell to meet their needs. Sarah wants to be a teacher to help impart knowledge inhere community.

Sarah Amaoko from Ghana – Proud and Resilient. Photo provided

A gifted athlete, she also plays for the school’s women’s football (soccer) team. Proud and resilient, Sarah loves her family for their strong bond, and her country for its peace and tranquility.

At the age of eight, Layla Lerus was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the insulin making cells in her pancreas attack themselves. Layla can eat whatever she wants, but everything that she does eat has to be covered by insulin. Until there is a cure, she will be insulin dependent. Now thirteen, she wears an insulin pump (that you see on her arm) and this allows her to get the insulin she needs minus the needles after every meal. Layla is a fighter. She never lets her illness get in the way of living her life to the fullest. Despite these challenges Layla has a great sense of humor and loves making people laugh. She hopes to become an Olympian in track and field. She is a sprinter and comes from an athletic family. “We are all very close. I love my sense of humor and making people laugh.” She also loves that she comes from a bilingual family that speaks French and English. Layla hopes to show other young children with type 1 diabetes that there is no need to be ashamed. “Never be afraid to be yourself, even if you have a little something that makes you different from everyone else. That is what will make you stand out.”

Layla from Illinois – The Fighter. Photo provided

Seven-year-old Brooklyn native Liam Evan Pyram is anything but typical. Always composed and stylish, he is considered a “cool kid” in school. His friendly and helpful nature also makes him a natural leader. After participating in a modeling showcase at the age of four, Liam signed with an agency. Some of his most notable accomplishments include modeling for major campaigns such as Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Target, J. Crew and more. In addition to modeling, Liam enjoys being creative, reading, outdoor activities like skating, bicycle riding, swimming, and other sports. Liam aspires to one day become an architect and own a construction business. A trailblazing young man, Liam doesn’t let anything or anyone define him.

Liam the Cool Kid. Photo provided
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