Naomi is Vogue’s November issue cover star and we all know the result of that is a mind-blowing magazine spread fit for the trailblazing supermodel.
The British superstar, who became the first Black woman to cover French Vogue in 1988, opened up about her decades long career of defying the odds and experience advocating for Black models.
“I never used to say the word racism; I just used to say, it’s territorialism,” she said. “I never wanted people to say that I used that as an excuse, that I was throwing that word out. Now I’m happy that everyone’s all on the same page, that everyone feels comfortable to come out about their experiences without feeling some stigma. But for me, nothing’s changed. I’m going to speak the same way.”
Campbell also explained the fatigue she feels over the notion of the “angry Black woman.” a phrase that has so often been explicitly or implicitly attached to narratives about the actress. “I am quite over it,” she said. “Is it now that we have permission to speak? Well, I have always spoken.”
She continued, “There were a few things that I would do when I was younger that I was told were bad for my race… Now the things I do are not just for me anymore. I think more of my culture and my race, as opposed to thinking about just me.”
She also spoke about still being misunderstood, calling out the British media in particular. “They haven’t learned how to be not-racist, period!” she said. “I’d rather have racism be right in front of my face and know what I’m dealing with, than to have it suppressed. No disrespect to the country I was born in, but we need to dig it up and bring it up and deal with it. No more chucking it down the sides.”
Campbell spoke about her vision for the future. “I think as a generation, as a whole, can we get reparations for our culture, for what we’ve been through? I absolutely believe we are going to get the positive outcome we deserve,” she said. “But we have to do our work in making sure we get it. I think reparations are important for the people to really see that this is something that’s been taken seriously.”
She also teased something coming in her future: a memoir. “I had this old-school way of looking at it as having to put pen to paper,” she said, before explaining she got advice from music executive and producer Clarence Avant for the project. “I asked him, ‘Clarence, How do you do it? How do you start writing?’ And he told me, ‘Just start from anywhere. Don’t start from the beginning.’ So it is going to happen!”
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