I had the wonderful opportunity to interview and observe the “Get Fly:Presentation as Power” workshop led by Michaela angela Davis as part of the 5th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit produced by Gye Nyame Empowerment Project (GNEP). Here’s what I learned about Michaela.
Contrary to what you may see when you look at photographs or meet Michaela angela Davis in-person, she is not the product of an interracial marriage. This was surprising to me, because she looks very much like what I think my niece, who is bi-racial, may look when she’s an adult. Michaela’s mother and father are what we in the African-American community “light-skinned-ed.” She describes her mother as looking like Lena Horne and her sister like Halle Berry. She jokingly mentioned that her brother described her as “opalescent.”
Michaela had confidence in her unique look because she was surrounded by “black excellence.” Michaela angela Davis was raised in Washington, DC., and grew up loving paper dolls and reading fashion magazines, which later led her to careers in fashion. She also had confidence in her own skin because she was able to nurture her creative spirit at a high school for the arts and later, as a student of an acting conservatory at New York University. She notes that for students that are seen as different, their uniqueness is embraced in environments like arts schools, “Our currency is our creativity.”
Image activist, Michaela angela Davis, has been a celebrity stylist and has held fashion and beauty editorial positions at Essence, Vibe, and as editor-in-chief of the now defunct, Honey magazine. She describes the closing of Honey as “heartbreaking,” especially since it was the most successful women’s magazine for two years straight. Michaela now dedicates her time to the mentoring organization, Shine and MAD Free, an organization which facilitates conversations about beauty, image and power by women of different generations. Michaela angela Davis demonstrates to teens and young women that it’s cool to celebrates differences, because they can be an asset. Michaela has been a stylist, editor, and mentor, I can’t wait to see where her evolution will take her next.