If you’re looking for some true inspiration, this mom’s Black History Month photos are absolutely everything. Sasha Bonner wanted to give her toddler daughter, Riley Johnson, a strong foundation. So the North Carolina mom started snapping pics of her two-year-old dressed as famous and fearless black women icons.

Bonner initially started this project as a way to bond with her daughter and inspire her little girl. After posting the photos on Instagram, these dress-up pics became something much more.

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Day 14 of 28! Day of love! @michelleobama Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American writer, lawyer, and university administrator who served as the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th U.S. President, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In her early legal career, she worked at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She subsequently worked in non-profits and as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago and the Vice President for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Michelle married Barack in 1992 and they have two daughters. #rmjbhm #blackherstory #blackhistorymonth #love #ancestorswildestdreams @target #michelleobama @rileymj2016 #shareblackstories

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The mom wanted her two-year-old to grow up having heroes that looked like her. In an interview with TODAY Parents, Bonner said, “Growing up, it wasn’t really showcased for us even when it came to female (role models) let alone African-American women.”

So, what famous faces did Riley portray during these fab photo shoots? The pairs’ Beyonce photo shoot was a favorite for both mother and daughter. Bonner is a mega fan of the singer and Riley reportedly enjoyed getting to wear lipstick.

Another top pick for the toddler was their photo of prima ballerina Misty Copeland. According to her mom, Riley enjoys ballet—and she already had the tutu!

Along with these famous women, Riley’s pics also included aviatrix Bessie Coleman, the first African American female to hold a pilot’s license.

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Day 21 of 28 Bessie Coleman! #bessiecoleman #blackhistorymonth #rmjbhm Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator. She was the first African-American female to hold a pilot license. She achieved her international pilot license in 1921. Bessie had to go to France to find a school that would take her, as the skies proved easier to conquer than contemporary prevailing stereotypes. Fulfilling her dream sparked a revolution and led the way for new generations of dreamers and future aviation legends, such as the Tuskegee airmen. She was the first civilian licensed African-American pilot in the world.She toured the country barnstorming, parachute jumping, and giving lectures to raise money for an African-American flying school.Bessie would only perform if the crowds were desegregated and entered thru the same gates. #ancestorswildestdreams #blackherstory #day21 #shareblackstories

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Here she is a Mamie Phipps Clark, an American social psychologist.

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Day 20 of 28! #blackhistory #blackherstory #mamiephippsclark Mamie Phipps Clark was an American social psychologist who, along with her husband Kenneth Clark, focused on the development of self-consciousness in black preschool children. Her studies found contrasts among African-American children attending segregated schools in Washington, DCversus those in integrated schools in New York.The doll experiment involved a child being presented with two dolls. Both of these dolls were completely identical except for the skin and hair color. One doll was white with yellow hair, while the other was brown with black hair. The child was then asked questions inquiring as to which one is the doll they would play with, which one is the nice doll, which one looks bad, which one has the nicer color, etc. The experiment showed a clear preference for the white doll among all children in the study. These findings exposed internalized racism in African-American children, self-hatred that was more acute among children attending segregated schools. This research also paved the way for an increase in psychological research into areas of self-esteem and self-concept.Clark received her post-secondary education at Howard University and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees there. Mamie Phipps Clark was the first African American woman to earn her Ph.D. in experimental psychology in 1943 from Columbia University. #rileyjohnson #rmjbhm #shareblackstories #love #selflove #babygirl #mamie #dolls #mommysworld #selfesteem

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We love this collage featuring American civil rights activist Ruby Nell Bridges Hall.

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Day 19 of 28#rubybridges #blackherstorymonth #blackhistory Ruby Nell Bridges Hall  is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became a full-time parent.She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it. #rileyjohnson #rmjbhm #shareblackstories

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Riley totally nailed it a supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Look for more of these magical moments on Bonner’s Instagram throughout Black History Month.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Kiana Bosman via Unsplash



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