Black Minimalism

Less clutter; more breathing room.

Black Minimalism reemerged about three years; not as a trend, but simply as a change of lifestyle. Minimalism in itself is a simpler lifestyle. With the ever-changing fashion trends, the fashion and magazine industry have been leaning to a “simpler” look. This can include using more white space, neon backgrounds, and abstract articles of clothing that create a more desirable look. Minimalism offers a cleaner, brighter, and more organized aspect to life. Things that African-Americans have been taught that they could never acquire. Ironically, black minimalism has been in our community for over a decade. Before it became a trend it was uncommon for a black person to be so “simple”. Some would deem it as “weird”. Or that the person was trying to acquire a luxury that the black person could not attain. It was also looked at as trying to obtain whiteness. Six years ago, a woman would turn her head at a black man who was clean-cut and extremely well-organized. His sexuality would be questioned because his life was simpler. In 2017, it is a desire for everyone to achieve. Since it is a lifestyle it’s hard to deem it as a trend, but with the influx of people searching to achieve it is becoming a trend. We all know how complex trends can be especially in this day and age. We live in a generation, mostly in the black community, where trends are considered cock-blocking. For African-Americans there can only be one person doing something at a time. If someone else catches on or decides to follow the trend, then they are deemed “unoriginal”. This makes black minimalism complex because it can be perceived as pretending to be something that you’re not. Some can argue that Black-minimalism is a much-needed revolution for African-Americans. Minimalism is not just having a closet full of nudes and whites. It’s encompassing a healthier lifestyle include physical and mental health. It’s clearing yourself of negativity, poverty, and oppression. According to Minimalist Expert, Yolanda V Acree, Black Minimalists values are authenticity, community, creativity, determination, and freedom. Which are all of the things that are reemerging in the black community. There has been a rise of more community togetherness because of the atrocities in the media. There has also been an influx of designers, artists, poets, and even rappers. Mainstream blacks have also re-evolved themselves. Artists such as Solange (a person who created an entire album around black minimalism). If this was five years ago people would argue that she’s trying to be like her sister. African-Americans are also becoming more aware of what they eat and are using products like coconut oil, shea butter, and natural supplements. Since we are at the height of black minimalist more African-Americans are being drawn to it, because of the simplicity that it offers. Solange’s notion may be a first to the current generation, but taking a look back at history this is merely a reoccurrence. Black Minimalism is being encompassed in the fashion industry as well. These things are not coincidences, and it could be taken as a trend that someone else started. More high fashion magazines are taking on women with darker skin who offer a cleaner look. You’ll see more black women wearing their natural hair and light pastel colors that illuminate their skin. In the media, the look is more purified and put together.

Although the seeds of black minimalism have been planted years ago; it’s leaves are blooming once again.


Article by Unique Ratcliff

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