September 7, 2021

Put Your Beads Back On!

In the early 1920s, as the world finally started recovering from WWI, and the Spanish Flu pandemic was coming to an end, glitz was in. Women started wearing furs, fringe, bright colors, flowers, spectacular hats, and beads – lots and lots of beads. 

Check out the style of Rose Nell Johnson (Deborah’s mom and Cerese’s grandmother) on the right; and Rose’s sister, Ora Bell Wilson, on the left. These ladies made it look effortless!

Two women dressed up in mink stoles and jewelry from the 1920s

The most influential social movement of that time was the Harlem Renaissance. African American culture wowed the entire world in a celebration of music, dance, art, fashion, theater, and literature. They sure did WOW with their style!

Why? Because everyone was ready for some joy after years of fighting and quarantine. They had been reminded that life was fleeting and that we need to celebrate it while we can.

Two photos of women from 1920s-1940s dressed up in their fancies

[Harlem Renaissance women from the 1920’s and 1940’s]

Sound familiar?

It’s time to put our beads back on. It’s time to pull out the colorful, the joyful, the bold, the fanciful, the clothing and jewelry that makes us smile and feel fierce every time we catch our reflection in the mirror. We may not be done with this pandemic yet, but it’s not too early to remember that life is sweet and should be celebrated. 

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