Imara Jones: "The bottom line is that the expanding consciousness of our humanity is why we have every reason to hope that the best days for Black trans women are ahead of us"

Imara is a journalist and chaired the first ever UN High Level Meeting on Gender Diversity.

by Imara Jones
|
21 September 2020, 1:01pm

Imara wears shirt Wales Bonner. Vest Hanro. Skirt Club Monaco. Earrings Fallon. Necklace Bernard James.

Imara’s story originally appeared in up + rising, a celebration of extraordinary Black voices, and is the first chapter of i-D's 40th anniversary issue (1980-2020).

i-D chronicled over 100 activists and artists, musicians and writers, photographers and creatives, in Atlanta, Baltimore, Minneapolis, LA, London, New York, Paris and Toronto.

“I am hopeful in this current Black Lives Matter moment because Black trans women are finally finding an ever-growing spotlight. This recognition of our place within the Black community is essential. Not only will it save our lives but it is vital for the liberation of all Black people.

Since the end of the Civil War we have tried to prioritise the rights of some Black individuals over others. The hope was that we could move initially from the rights of Black men, on to those for Black women and then those for the wider community. But this approach has been a failure. We have learned that when some have legal rights over others, that the rights of all are fragile. That’s why the increasing realisation that it is all of us or none of us is so important.

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Imara wears shirt Wales Bonner. Vest Hanro. Skirt Club Monaco. Earrings Fallon. Necklace Bernard James.

This new awareness actually recognises the forgotten views of Civil Rights icons Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hammer that “nobody is free until everybody’s free.” Moreover, the centering of Black trans women as central to Black liberation also paves the way for the cultural shift that’s required in our communities to decrease the horrific levels of violence that we face.

And a world without violence is a world that we can thrive in. Black trans women are using our place in the cultural landscape not only to imagine a better life for us but for all of us: cis, trans, and non-binary. The bottom line is that the expanding consciousness of our humanity is why we have every reason to hope that the best days for Black trans women are ahead of us.” Imara Jones

Credits


Photography Douglas Segars
Styling Milton Dixon

Hair Latisha Chong and LaMesha Mosely using Bumble and bumble.
Make-up T. Cooper at crowdMGMT using FACE Atelier.
Photography assistance William Takahashi, Fallou Seck, Shen Williams-Cohen and Laerke Rose Moellegaard.
Styling assistance Devante Rollins and Theresa Miriam.
Hair assistance Safiya Wiltshire. 
Production Yohan Yoon.
Special thanks Please Space BK.
Casting director Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Alexandra Antonova.