News about Gucci potentially releasing an ad campaign featuring all black models has been buzzing since the Italian fashion house released teasers of interviews with several black models. The interviewee asked the models what it means to have soul and what their spirit animal is. Where it gets a bit questionable is when they asked the participants to dance.
Diversity is great and it’s always a pleasure to see black people get the recognition they deserve. But things often get murky when it comes to how we’ve been portrayed by white media outlets dating from the era of blackface, minstrel shows, and now advertising campaigns. Who knows what Gucci is planning, but since we have so many historical references of white big-wigs making a spectacle of black people using our “soul” and “love for dance” as a tool to turn black people into borderline sideshow acts, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Let’s just hope they have a few people of color at the decision making table to veto any potential foul play.