In this op-ed, fashion historian and curator Darnell-Jamal Lisby breaks down the fashion from Black Is King and their connections to specific African regions, cultures, and traditions.

Throughout the years, fashion has been an essential element to the way Beyoncé communicates, specifically Black empowerment. As an extension of her 2019 Lion King: The Gift studio album, her latest musical film Black is King reimagines the Disney classic The Lion King through the eyes of people instead of digitally animated animals. In this way, Beyoncé, who acts as the film’s narrator, is able to help push society away from conditioned tropes of African peoples while using clothing to overtly and subtly subvert the 1994 narrative into a tastefully executed ode to the true beauty of Africa and its people. Through the fashion in Black Is King, it introduces us to new perspectives through design that…

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