Every February, the US celebrates the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month, honoring the rich cultural heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an indelible part of the country's history. To celebrate Black History Month and the importance of recognising the historical contributions of African Americans, we asked some of our favorite writers, editors and content creators to share with us the people that have inspired and motivated them - and to highlight the heroes that have had a positive impact on their lives.
My name is Deon Hinton. I am a photographer and creative based here in New York. Born and raised in Arkansas, I found a love for the arts early on, contrary to what surrounded my day-to-day world. I aim for my work to provide a warm and poetic approach through mediums of direction, photography, cinematography, and poetry.
Born to a single mother at the age of 14, I’ve overcome but grown through experiences that have molded and polished her intentions and efforts. Blessed to work with the likes of Dior, Gucci, and Prada, I've been able to create a variety of stories that further embodies my personal style, experiences, and heart. Capitalizing on self-love, and other forms of carefree living through being a self-taught photographer, I enjoy capturing a very intimate gravity with my subjects and audience.
My great-grandmother is a true hero of mine. Grandnana is one of the strongest humans to grace this world, and mine. Born in (Jericho) Colt, Arkansas, March 2, 1935, Grandnana has seen the foundation of this country shape the world we know today. She says her favorite memory of me is when she first met me; I became her grandson. My favorite memory of mine would be summer of 2020. I travelled to the country to stay two weeks with her and my Grandmother. I remember a summer night, screen door open, a warm wind easing into the home, with a soft sound of crickets and just a beautiful conversation about my queerness and my experiences. Surrounded by laughter and an open heart, I never imagined having this conversation with her, but it is one I will always recall as a token of true love.
She holds a space of inspiration to me, as someone that has seen this world through a lens of 86 years, and still continues to seek the beauty within life. As someone who holds strangers as family, as someone who emulates the nature of a flower–– delicate. In experiencing so much, witnessing her world shift and change so much - to remain soft is something that I find the most beautiful. A gentle warrior, she has upheld what beauty and love embody. And although she often does not understand exactly what it is that I do, she holds this space of genuine support and love for me that I’ll always cherish.
24 February 2022