This month, we’re excited to celebrate Black History Month with our Rosettes in the United Kingdom! UK’s Black History Month was organized by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, a Ghanaian Analyst who also served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council, in October of 1987. He started the celebration after recognizing the need to showcase pride and admiration of Black culture. We’re so grateful for Mr. Addai-Sebo’s contribution, and it’s imperative that we dedicate this time to uplift and highlight this important month. We’re celebrating by showcasing 5 legendary beauty icons from the United Kingdom’s past and present.
Naomi Campbell was born in London, England in 1970, and is a world-class supermodel and fashion icon, especially in the ’80s. She attended the London Academy for Performing Arts as a young girl and later became the first Black woman to appear on the cover of French 'Vogue'. Not only was she iconic in her field, but she was also close friends with the late, South African President Mr. Mandela and has been a strong presence in promoting the welfare of children in Africa for years. Fashion for Relief; Naomi’s charity has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes including the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and the Japanese earthquakes and tsunamis that struck in 2011. She is a beautiful spirit on and off-camera.
Michaela Coel is a creative writer and actress, sharing some of her most beautiful, and heartbreaking experiences with the world. Born in London, England on October 1st, 1987, she’s a superstar on-screen and behind the scenes. Coel is the writer and program creator of the Hit TV series Chewing Gum on Netflix and I May Destroy You on HBO. She’s been a part of several other notable pieces of art like Star Wars: Jedi, Black Mirror, and Black Rising Earth.
Shirley Bassey is best known for recording the theme songs to the James Bond: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker. Born in Tiger Bay, United Kingdom, Shirley Bassey is a star, known for her voice and her lavish lifestyle. She has sold over 130 million records in her lifetime and she was also made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and other honorable works outside the civil service. Give Diamonds are Forever a play to relive this moment of greatness.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste was the very first British of African descent nominated for an Oscar Award for her role in Secret and Lies in 1996. Marianne was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and performed at the Royal National Theatre. Not only has she been recognized for her talent as an actress, but she is also a great writer and composer. Marianne Jean Baptiste composed the score for Mike Leigh’s film Career Girls, and she has also directed and starred in the U.S. hit-television series, Without a Trace for over half a decade.
Letitia Wright is best known for her role as Churi in the Black Panther film, and The Avengers Infinity War. She is an up and coming Guyanese-British actress dripping with talent and will be starring in the upcoming film Death on The Nile. She has just recently finished with shooting as the lead, for UK’s ‘I am’ anthology, and we can’t wait to see her back on screen.
These beautiful women are just a few of many Black icons. So many more, past and present, have made a significant impact on the culture and even though they may have not been named, we are celebrating them, too. Happy Black History Month to our Rosettes in The United Kingdom, we see you and y’all are the bomb!
Image Via: MelanMag.com