As a Black woman, there are definitely moments when you feel discouraged, particularly in the past when there has been a lack of representation in the media. But right now, it feels more hopeful. By just being ourselves in the industry, showing more people that our voices matter and that our beautiful skin deserves to be embraced, Black women are shifting the narrative. I’m so grateful to be part of the group of creatives who are driving that change.

Halle wears Gucci suit, lingerie and necklace, By Far shoes

But as much as I love performing and sharing my gift with the world, that’s not what makes me feel the most powerful. Those moments come when I’m in South Carolina, surrounded by all my cousins, running through the grass in the park. That feeling of love and hope and happiness. My siblings and I are all creative – my older sister Ski is a writer and my younger brother Branson also has a beautiful voice – so whenever we get together we’re always singing. Those are the moments that make me happy. When I’m with my family, I feel empowered, embraced and connected to my heritage.

To anyone who’s in any doubt that they have that power within them, know that you’re wrong – you just need to find it. Take time to discover outlets that make you feel that strength, whether it’s writing, athletics or simply spending time with the people you love. It doesn’t matter, as long as it helps you reach that energy within you.

I know now that the little girl who accidentally picked up that Billie Holiday CD would be proud of how far she’s come. But I still feel like I’m healing my inner child everyday. We’re growing together, learning that we’re stronger than we ever thought we could be. As that inner child heals, I’m discovering who I am as a young woman.

Everyone has something to offer. Everyone has a gift. The more you hone in on that gift and give it back to the world, the more you will feel better about what you’re doing in this life. Don’t be discouraged. You already have it in you.

Photographers: AB + DM
Styling: Justin Hamilton
Hair: Tinisha Meeks
Makeup: Christiana Cassell
Manicure: Yoko Sakakura
Prop styling: Carlos Lopez/Winston Studios
Production: Ilona Klaver