To creatively celebrate Black History Month, Cristi Smith-Jones and her 5-year-old daughter, Lola, came up with a special portrait project. Each day in February, Smith-Jones has captured little Lola as she recreates portraits of inspiring black women throughout history.
Through comparable clothing, improvised accessories (including her father’s glasses and her mother’s jewelry), similar hairstyles, and impressively identical poses and expressions, Lola channels a wide range of iconic African-American women—from civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Angela Davis to entertainers like Josephine Baker and Nina Simone. With such a sundry selection, Smith-Jones hopes that Lola will learn more about Black History and the many female figures that have shaped it. “I tried to pick a diverse group with varied backgrounds,” she told Huffington Post. “I wanted to highlight their accomplishments, regardless of their personal or political views. She just needs to know how they affected the world, so I picked women that could teach her a lesson in some way.”
Lola has thoroughly enjoyed the project, as, thanks to her mother, Black History has always been near and dear to her. In addition to the month-long series, Smith-Jones has taught Lola about Black History and African-American culture through educational videos, moving films, informative books, and enlightening discussions. To share her daughter’s inspiring interest with the public, Smith-Jones posts each photo on her Twitter account, where you can see the project in its entirety.