April 2012. I was walking down the streets of Harlem with the biggest excitement caused by the place and all its legacies and meanings; I stopped by to talk to a lovely man selling tees representing people and moments of the African-American culture and history. “What’s your name?” – he asks. “Angela”. “Ah, Angela…like Angela Davis”! He didn’t have a tee with her of my size but he really made my day when he associated my name with hers! “Yes, Like Angela Davis” I said with a big smile.
He didn’t know (but I told him afterwards) that Angela Davis is the second person I am proud of wearing their name (the first one is my grandma) because she is one of the women that I admire most and a true inspiration for me. Sometimes, when I am feeling angry and upset about the political, social and cultural situation of my country I read again what she wrote to find again the force to fight.
Many of my friends and family know about my love for Angela Davis, including Simona who told me about this beautiful artwork outside the bookstore Les Mots in Milan. We immediately head there to take some pictures and when I saw it, her smiling with her fist up, I immediately thought about her quote: “But there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite, that democracy from below can challenge oligarchy, that imprisoned migrants can be freed, that fascism can be overcome, and that equality is emancipatory”.
It was a coincidence but that day I wore a tee and canvas bag from the talented artist Massira Keita: a wonderful Parisian girl with African origins who makes the most beautiful drawings with an afro twist. When I saw the Syra design, a young woman with a wax turban I fell in love with the style and I got the tee and the bag (and the iPhone case!) that I wore here trying to re-create the same style on me (this was done on purpose, not a coincidence!): military jacket from an old Zara collection, black skinny jeans from Acne Studios, snake silver ankle boots from Divine Follie and wax headwrap from Grazia Ferrari (better known as Gracchia F!). The black round sunglasses were courtesy of Simona to complete the Syra look! I added a personal touch with my silver Nepalese necklace and loop earrings.