See The Incredible Black Women Honored By These Girls In This Adorable Set Of Portraits

All young people deserve inspiring women to look up to — and young black girls have some incredible women to look up to, as shown in this wonderful project "Because of Them, We Can" by Eunique Jones Gibson. Below are just 18 of the many portraits Eunique has taken of young boys and girls dressed as inspiring, accomplished people.

But Eunique isn't simply dressing up cute children as well-known leaders, thinkers, and artists. She's inspiring a new generation to believe in themselves. Eunique commented that she wanted children to immerse themselves with these messages of excellence, accomplishment, and responsibility and said the project is "committed to encourage and empower people of all ages and hues to dream out loud and reimagine themselves as greater than they are, simply by connecting the dots between the past, the present and the future."

Hear what she has to say in her own words in the video, and then see a small selection of her posters below. After that, do yourself a favor and order a ton of her posters because they are just the *best*.

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Female: It's bigger than just taking pictures of cute kids and making them look like celebrities or making them look like politicians or engineers. It's bigger than that. It's about the message, right? It's about empowering these kids and injecting just this new wave of self-esteem and self-worth by understanding what's already been done, what's being done, and what can be done, and how they can play a role in shaping or reshaping the future. The Because of Them We Can campaign was inspired by my sons, Chase and Enamari [SP].

They were born during president Barack Obama's election and during his reelection. Being able to see a black president in office during the birth of my sons just gave me so much hope for the future, for their future. And so right before February of this year I started to think about how much potential they have and how much that they can do and how much they can accomplish as a result of the accomplishment of our ancestors and the accomplishments of people who are currently blazing trails and those who will blaze trails in the future. It's been an awesome campaign. I didn't expect it to go viral. I didn't expect it to be as big as it is, and I only anticipated doing it for the month of February, for 28 days. As the month of February progressed, I realized, this is bigger than me, this is bigger than what I originally envisioned it would be.

Female: Yeah, let's do just the top.

Child: I want to do my picture.

Female: You want to do your picture?

Female: Oh, you're ready? Hold on, you're little lips are . . .

Female: When people tell me they didn't want to see the month of February end, or they didn't want to see March come, or they weren't looking forward to March 1st because they thought that the pictures would stop on my fan page. And so, seeing that and seeing how it just engaged people from all over the world, not just from the United States and not just people of African descent. Seeing just how empowering it is, or was, made me want to continue and kind of made me listen to a greater calling with this campaign. And so, as a result, I am continuing the Because of Them We Can campaign beyond February.

Twenty-eight days just, it wasn't enough, it's not enough to tell the history. And so, I'm continuing it. I'm going to expand it outside of Maryland. I'm gonna engage and empower other kids across the globe, and hopefully inspire them to be great and to do great things, and hopefully well, there are plans to make it more inclusive, because all kids need that message. All kids need to know that the sky's the limit. The possibilities are endless, you can do great things, you can be great and there are so many people that you can look up to as an example, who have done what you may want to do, and if they haven't done it, then you can do it.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Eunique kindly gave me permission to share these photos on our website with you. Thank you, Eunique! Her original video can be found here, and I've written about this project before because I love it so much. The photo of Kerry Washington in the thumbnail was used under a Creative Commons license and can be found here.

Support and buy posters of the project on the official Because of Them, We Can website. Oh, and if you're interested in having all images in one place, there are 365 of them in the illustrated coffee table book!

Apr 28, 2014

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