Photographer Kwame Braithwaite Dies at 85

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1960’s Black Is Beautiful movement creator, Kwame Braithwaite has died. The photographer and activist was 85 at the time of his death. His son announced the news via Instagram.

“I am deeply saddened to share that my Baba, the patriarch of our family, our rock and my hero, has transitioned. Thank you for your love and support during this difficult time,” he captioned the post.

Braithwaite took pictures of historic events. Some including The Motown Revue at the Apollo in 1963, The Jackson 5’s first trip to Africa in 1974, and the George Foreman/Muhammed Ali fight, The Rumble in the Jungle.

Throughout the 1960s, he was a photojournalist for leading black publications such as The Amsterdam NewsCity Sun, and The Daily Challenge. Although he has had a large career, his work related to the Black is Beautiful movement remains his most famous.

Black is Beautiful was originally part of a fashion show he put on in 1962. The title of the fashion show segment grew to mean so much to many people across the country and spread to become world wide..

In the past several years, Brathwaite’s work has been the subject of exhibitions, books. His work was also the subject of a fashion line created by Rihanna. Rihanna used the Black is Beautiful photography as a parallel to imagery for her Fenty clothing line ad campaign. The two are of Barbadian descent.