In 2017, for Black History Month, twin sisters Stephanie and AlysshaRose Jordan wanted a way to celebrate the “exceptional black women who broke down the color barrier and fought for equality.” So for 28 days, the two took turns recreating photos of trailblazing black women and posted them on their social media pages. They call the project the Dope Queens of Black History.
“It started off as something we just did personally,” Stephanie told WYSK in an email. “But then our friends started to share the images, it really took off and we decided to extend the project into March, Women’s History Month.”
The initial inspiration for the project came after Stephanie saw the award-winning film Hidden Figures. “I always had an interest in cosplay but wasn’t sure where to start. After seeing the movie, I decided I wanted to cosplay as Katherine Johnson.” Stephanie added, “My best friend Jess was another source of inspiration. She posts bios of inspiring women on her page during Women’s History month. So, I decided to post a pic of myself in cosplay each day.”
After a few days, Stephanie realized it would probably be a bit too hard to pull off alone, so she recruited her sister AlysshaRose to help out. “I love that I’m learning something new every day, and that I can shine light on the accomplishments of these extraordinary black women,” AlysshaRose said.
The women, both past and present, who they’ve paid tribute to include: Katherine Johnson, Ava Duvernay, Diana Ross, Ella Jo Baker, Katherine Dunham, Nina Simone, Gwendolyn Brooks, Angela Davis, Marian Wright Edelman, Coretta Scott King, Bessie Coleman, Ida B. Wells, among many others.
And, on the anniversary of her death, the twins honored Harriet Tubman. “We were inspired by the Women You Should Fund campaign #BringHarrietHome to pay homage to this incredible American hero,” AlysshaRose said. “We referenced the new found photo of her to create this image. We’ve only seen Harriet Tubman as an older woman, and are moved by this new, younger representation of her.”
“I’m so happy that people have responded so positively to our project. I’ve had many friends tell me how much they love the pictures, and that they look forward to reading the bios,” AlysshaRose told us. “We don’t expect to get rich or famous; we just want to teach the world about some Dope Queens of Black History!”
Check out some of Stephanie and AlysshaRose’s previous images:
Anne Cole Lowe
Check out some of Stephanie and AlysshaRose’s images: