Black is Beautiful: The Emergence of Black Culture and Identity in the 60s and 70s

 “Across this country, young black men and women have been infected with a fever of affirmation. They are saying, ‘We are black and beautiful.’” 

Hoyt Fuller 1968

The phrase “black is beautiful” referred to a broad embrace of black culture and identity. It called for an appreciation of the black past as a worthy legacy, and it inspired cultural pride in contemporary black achievements.

In its philosophy, “Black is beautiful” focused also on emotional and psychological well-being. The movement affirmed natural hairstyles like the “Afro” and the variety of skin colors, hair textures, and physical characteristics found in the African American community.

This article appears in its entirety at the National Museum of African American History and Culture website. It can be read here.

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