These stunning portraits of black girls rocking their natural hair are a must-see.

Atlanta-based CreativeSoul Photography brought an inspiring artistic vision to life that highlights the beauty of black girls and their natural hair.

Regis and Kahran are the husband-and-wife duo behind the photography studio, and their series "Afro Art" represents their expertise in capturing portraits as well as visual storytelling. The striking images feature young girls in elaborate costuming and hairstyles, from a Baroque-era aesthetic to steampunk clothing to fierce high-fashion ensembles.

The girls featured in "Afro Art" are stylish and carry themselves with confidence and grace. The feelings evoked from the series speak to the larger idea surrounding it. “We feel that it is so important for kids of color to be able to see positive images that look like them in the media,” Kahran told My Modern Met in an email. “Unfortunately the lack of diversity often plays into the stereotypes that they are not ‘good enough’ and often forces kids to have low self-esteem.”


All photos by CreativeSoul Photo, used with permission.

To help combat these negative feelings, the couple showcases kids who love how they look.

“We hope that viewers will see the beauty and versatility of afro hair,” Kahran explains, “and we hope that girls around the world will be inspired to love their unique differences and beauty within.”

"Afro Art" came together from CreativeSoul’s travels:

“We worked on these series in various states in the US (New York, California, Texas, Georgia). In each state, we created a different theme and came up with clothing pieces and accessories that went with that theme.”

Although meticulous in preparation, the duo still left some room for spontaneity. “On set, we just styled everything on the fly and worked with our hairstylist to create unique looks for each model.”

See how the different themes come together to make one gorgeously shot and styled series.

In their series "Afro Art," CreativeSoul Photography captures striking portraits of girls who are rocking their natural hair.

They feature black girls who wear elaborate Baroque-esque ensembles …

... as well as steampunk-inspired outfits …

… and many other styles.

The overall goal of "Afro Art" is to show kids of color more people that look like them in the media.

“We hope that girls around the world will be inspired to love their unique differences and beauty within,” Kahran explains.

This piece originally appeared at My Modern Met and is reprinted here with permission.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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