Black History

Beautiful Words from The Grandassa Models

The Grandassa Models have sought to heal our people from the hair trauma brought on by the rejection of our own natural standard of beauty. Our hair, our skin, our features, and our physiognomy were portrayed as anything but beautiful since we first landed on these shores.
Our mission as Grandassa Models has been to help heal our people and to educate them about our true history and legacy. We strive to help them to see themselves as beautiful, intelligent, resourceful, and accomplished people.

We know God did not make a mistake when he created Black people (the first people). Although the Grandassas launched in 1962, our message is as much needed today (if not more so). Our goal then and now is to heal our people and help them love and appreciate themselves AND each other.

We are honored and extremely appreciative of the consistent coverage given to us by the publishers of Our Time Press, David Greaves and Bernice Green. They have covered each step of our journey since we reunited, after several decades, in 2017. We feel so affirmed and very grateful that sharing our journey, Our Time Press, immediately gives the Grandassa models access to thousands of readers.
Sikolo Brathwaite

Thank you for your support and coverage of the Grandassa models in your newspaper. You are truly appreciated.
Ameiye Ballard

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Grandassa Models Presents ‘In Our Heads About Our Hair’ was a labor of love, history, appreciation, and triumph.
As we celebrate 60 years of the Grandassa Models legacy initiated by AJASS, the Black Is Beautiful Movement was taken up another notch with this groundbreaking movie. Never before, to my knowledge, was there a documentary that shared the pain and joy. Black women have endured because of our beautiful, natural hair.

Watching the excerpts brought out so much emotion and collective sharing during the panel discussion, which reinforced the importance of continuing the conversation and advocating for the freedom of us as Black women to wear our hair naturally. The panel discussion was lively, thought-provoking, and insightful. I was honored to be a presenter representing the Grandassa Models. I was able to share my experience as a Grandassa Model and tie it all into the struggle for freedom and justice for African people.
Thank you, Our Time Press. Your continued coverage of our activities and events is truly (greatly) appreciated.
Nana Baakan O. Yirenkyiwa


Black Is Beautiful letter-poster

by Kwame Brathwaite and Robert Gumbs

They were Black and Beautiful, proud and confident, talented and innovative. The Grandassa Models were what many young girls in the 1960s would learn was an example to strive for as they grew into their own knowledge and love of self.

These intrepid women and the visionary men who were their friends and partners are being celebrated this year, the 60th anniversary of their iconic Black beauty and culture show, Naturally ‘62.


“We have to remember that beginning in 1958 to 1960, Africa was beginning to emerge, with several independent countries,” said artist Robert Gumbs. “People began to look at Africa and say, ‘This is where we came from, and it is now our time to represent ourselves as beautiful Black people.’”
–excerpted from an article by Maitefa Angaza, Spring 2022, Our Time Press

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