Yandy Smith: "It is my responsibility to use my platform and influence"

The entrepreneur wants to leave a better world for her children.

by Yandy Smith
21 September 2020, 4:03pm

Yandy’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.

“As the Black Community continues to wrestle with overlapping crises of systemic racism, a pandemic (amongst other health crises), disparities in economic opportunity and an over militarized policing system, it is my responsibility to use my platform and influence.

The message is: “No more. This ends now.” It's important for me to work on the ground with grass-root organisations such as Until Freedom in an effort to aid in active education.  The goal is to teach the masses how to fight against injustice, to challenge government officials to leverage their power to dismantle all racist and discriminatory systems.

I want to amplify voices and magnify the experiences of black, low-income, immigrants, transgender, and gender non-conforming people. A change is coming. I feel it, even if I don’t see the full magnitude of the change ahead in my lifetime; I believe my children will be benefactors of my work.”


Photography Justin French
Styling Edward Bowleg III

Hair Suhailah Wali using JASS Products by Janel Sealy Smith.
Make-up Raisa Flowers using Pat McGrath Labs.
Lighting technician Tim Hoffman.
Styling assistance DeVante Rollins.
Make-up assistance Ashley Brignolle.
Production Casey Murphy.
Casting director Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Alexandra Antonova.