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Thanks to Mom, This Toddler Gets to Dress Up as a Trailblazing Black Woman for Every Day of Black History Month

Thanks to Mom, This Toddler Gets to Dress Up as a Trailblazing Black Woman for Every Day of Black History Month

Photo: Sasha Bonner 

Sasha Bonner is showing her two-year-old daughter Riley that she can be anything she wants to be by dressing her up as an influential Black woman for each day of Black History Month. 

The North Carolina mother decided to take on the project after reading Vashti Harrison's "Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History" with her daughter. 

"When I was growing up, women were not that well represented so I didn’t really know all my potential. I just didn’t see it,” Bonner told Good Morning America. "I grew up thinking Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were the same person because I learned about them at the same time on the same day during Black History Month."

In addition to posting photos of her daughter dressed as Black women history makers (such as Shirley Chisholm, Ruby Bridges, Nina Simone, Michelle Obama, Simone Biles, and Shuri from 'Black Panther') on Instagram, Bonner told her daughter about each woman that she was dressed as. She also shared a brief bio about each featured woman. 

“I wanted her to know her history and I wanted an activity to do with her,” Bonner said. “It was a big commitment but I wanted to make it simple. I didn’t buy any costumes and everything we’ve used was already in her closet.”

The mother-daughter duo kicked off the celebration with Misty Copeland, the first African American woman principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre - and the celebration of Black history and Black girl magic continued from there. 

Stacey Abrams, the nation's first Black woman to win a major party's nomination for governor, even left a comment under Riley's mini Abrams post, writing: 

“Riley, the outfit is perfect. And something tells me you will be in the history books one day too."  

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Day 14 of 28! Day of love! @michelleobama Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American writer, lawyer, and university administrator who served as the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In her early legal career, she worked at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She subsequently worked in non-profits and as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago and the Vice President for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Michelle married Barack in 1992 and they have two daughters. #rmjbhm #blackherstory #blackhistorymonth #love #ancestorswildestdreams @target #michelleobama @rileymj2016

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Day 17 of 28 #ninasimone #blackhistorymonth #blackherstory Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the civil rights movement. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and popSimone's social commentary was not limited to the civil rights movement; the song "Four Women" exposed the eurocentric beauty standards imposed on black women in America,as it explored the internalized dilemma of beauty that is experienced between four black women with skin-tones ranging from light to dark. #rmjbhm #rileyjohnson @rileymj2016

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Day 19 of 28#rubybridges #blackherstorymonth #blackhistory Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became a full-time parent.She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it. #rileyjohnson #rmjbhm

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“I’m even teaching myself," Bonner said TODAY. "I didn’t know that much about all these individual women as well. It is an inspiration.”

See all the incredible Black women that Riley has channeled so far here. 

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